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Ministers 'back to school'.

Embargoed until 10.00am
Monday 26 June 2000 Media Statement

Ministers 'back to school'.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and two of his associate Minister's got a first hand look at the Online Learning Centre set to become a major feature of classroom teaching in New Zealand Schools.

Trevor Mallard, Lianne Dalziel and Parekura Horomia were taking part in a preview of Te Kete Ipurangi which becomes fully functional at the start of Term Three.

Trevor Mallard said he would be encouraging teachers, principals and parents to utilise the wealth of information and learning resources available through the site.

"I expect Te Kete Ipurangi to become a major feature in New Zealand classrooms," Trevor Mallard said.

"It provides easy access to free quality resources which have been evaluated for their suitability for New Zealand school children and which complement the New Zealand school curriculum.

"It will help with some of the teacher workload issues in that it will make it easier for teachers to find and adapt resources suitable for their classrooms. It will reverse the trend towards competition rather than collaboration and encourage teachers to share rather than hoard resources.

"Information and Communications Technology gives us the opportunity to develop resources for learning in a cost effective way. The only cost to the school is their normal internet access charges. Nearly all New Zealand schools currently have internet access.

"This year's Budget included $5.5million over four years for the development of more material in both English and Maori for Te Kete Ipurangi and for further technical developments on the site.

"I am confident that it is a positive use of ICT to meet the Government's objectives of improving the skill level among all New Zealanders and to close the gaps in educational achievement," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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