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Trust helps schools get Network Upgrade

Media Release

8 September 2006

The West Coast Development Trust has helped West Coast primary schools take advantage of the School Network Upgrade project being carried out from Karamea to Haast.

Schools up and down the West Coast are starting to benefit from the project which involves providing new cabling, network connections, software and hardware for the schools and training for the staff. Some schools on the Coast had decided that despite only needing to fund a 20 – 25% share of the total cost they felt unable to afford to participate in the project.

Realising the need to make sure that all schools identified by the Ministry of Education as being small and remotely located could benefit from the upgrade, The West Coast Development Trust offered to pay a percentage of each of the school’s contribution.

The upgrade project focuses on reducing the wide variation between schools and bringing school networks up to Ministry of Education network standards so that all schools benefit from information and communications technologies.

The Trust feels that the upgrade project is especially important on the West Coast where many schools have small pupil numbers and are geographically isolated. Schools will have access to more information, teachers will be able to improve their resources and effectively and quickly communicate with each other.

Thirteen schools up and down the Coast have opted in to the project and taken up the Trust’s offer. Five schools have completed the upgrade so far:

- Karamea Area School

- Waimangaroa Primary School

- Blaketown Primary School

- Kaniere Primary School

- Kokatahi/Kowhitirangi School

Three schools, (Runanga, Maruia & Fox Glacier) that had previously declined the MOE’s upgrade offer because they could not afford their share have since come on board. Runanga School Principal Joy Baker was delighted that her school could go ahead with the project after the offer from the Trust.


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