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Budget Boost for ICT In Schools

Embargoed until 10.00am
Monday 26 June 2000 Media Statement

Budget Boost for ICT.

This year's Budget doubled the spending to support the key inititives within the Information and Communications Technology strategy in schools, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard was speaking at a preview of Te Kete Ipurangi – the Online Learning Centre which is set to become a major feature in New Zealand classrooms.

The Budget increased funding for the ICT strategy by $18.1 million over the next four years.

It includes spending over the next four years of:

 $5.5 million to develop Maori and English material and technical developments for Te Kete Ipurangi
 $2.5 million for an ICT Help Desk starting next year to support schools
 $10.1million to establish 25 additional ICT clusters and extend the current programme

"Money for computers is no use if schools do not use them to support learning properly. The Government's focus is on providing centralised resources that all schools can utilise," Trevor Mallard said.

"The website will provide easier access to more and better quality resources. The helpdesk will mean schools can access free and unbiased advice about the most appropriate ICT systems for their schools. The clusters will provide a base for teachers to access professional development and guidance about the integration of ICT into their classrooms.

"We are committed to ensuring that New Zealand school children are able to fully benefit from the potential that ICT offers," Trevor Mallard said.


ENDS



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