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Telecom Reconfirms Commitment To NZ Education


Telecom Reconfirms Commitment To NZ Education

Changes to School Connection programme announced

Telecom is reinforcing its commitment to New Zealand education by re-energising New Zealand’s biggest education programme, School Connection.

For the past 10 years Telecom School Connection has enabled New Zealand schools to purchase communications products and services, based on funding from a proportion of parent and other supporters’ toll calling spend on their Telecom account each month.

As part of the update, Telecom is increasing programme funding from $9 million to $10 million per year. The update is also making School Connection more relevant to today’s education by increasing the emphasis on new technology and improving access to programme information.

All schools are being informed of the changes this week and the updated programme will be implemented by July 2004.

Telecom’s Head of Consumer Marketing, Victoria Crone, says Telecom is proud to be helping to enhance learning through the use of technology.

“Through School Connection and the integration of other education initiatives such as Learning Line, Telecom is now committing to give more than $120 million to New Zealand education over the next decade,” she says.

The extra funding will be shared among all learning institutions that have selected communications services, such as line rental, local and toll calls, and Internet access, with Telecom.

“But this is not just about more funding. We’re making School Connection more relevant to education today and in the future by helping schools get the telecommunications and IT services that they need,” Ms Crone says.

“For many schools that will be broadband. For others, it will be products and services that help them along the journey towards broadband.”

In addition to the funding increase, three other key elements of the School Connection programme will be changing.

A new currency for the purchase of products and services is being introduced. Previously schools earned dollars from up to a 5% share of their supporters’ toll spend. The programme update will see schools earn points based on the total telecommunications spend of their supporters, including their Telecom mobile and Xtra accounts.

To make it easier for schools to maximise their benefits from Telecom School Connection, a new web site will be launched. The web site will include an online catalogue of the products and services available, easy access to points balances, and a secure online purchasing facility.

Telecom will also be giving School Connection supporters more information about where their money goes.

“In the next few months, all supporters will be asked to reconfirm their commitment to their nominated school. They will then receive more information about the ongoing contribution they are making,” Ms Crone says.

Schools have been sent an information pack about the changes and can visit http://www.telecom.co.nz/schoolconnection

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