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Gisborne High Schools Take Part In Digital Project

Associate Education Minister, Parekura Horomia announced that all four secondary schools in Gisborne will participate in a leading edge government-business partnership project to create digital opportunity.

Mr Horomia's statement follows one made by the Minister of Education Trevor Mallard earlier this week, when he named the four Auckland schools who are participating in the same ICT Technology Training pilot project.

The Associate Minister witnessed the signing of agreements by the Gisborne school principals today and Mr Horomia is delighted that the project has been widened.

"Originally only one Gisborne school and four Auckland schools were to participate. However after negotiations with the project partners, Gisborne Boys High School, Gisborne Girls High School, Lytton High School and Campion College are now taking part."

The pilot project will enable 100 senior students in each of the participating schools to access Microsoft technology training this year. Another 100 students will be able to access training next year. A smaller number of students will progress to examination and certification level, but the aim to ensure every Year 12 pupil in every participating school takes some of the base training modules.

Mr Horomia said the project is an example of how cooperation between leading ICT companies, government and schools can create opportunities for Gisborne young people to ride the digital wave.

"All of the partners Microsoft (the project leader) BCL, Clear Communications, IBM, Renaissance and Compaq have pledged their support for the project and have agreed to provide services and products at very competitive rates. BCL and Clear have provided extra assistance in this project to allow participation by the extra schools.

"Currently there is limited broadband capacity into the East Coast region. This pilot project will increase the capacity markedly, which will allow better two-way IT communications in and out of the district."

Mr Horomia congratulated all partners in the project for providing better chances for young people in Gisborne.

"The project will give students a chance to earn nationally and internationally recognised qualification (Unit Standards and Microsoft qualifications) which can only mean better options for the students."

ENDS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Digital Opportunities Pilot Project 1

Gisborne / West Auckland

The ICT Technology Training pilot project will provide students in eight low decile secondary schools in Gisborne and West Auckland with access to:

- Technology qualifications from Microsoft and other technology qualification providers (access to Microsoft qualifications will be the focus of the first year of the pilot)

- Recognition for these qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework

- Good quality connections to the Internet (minimum 128k - two way connection);

- Computers, software and professional development.

The purpose of this pilot is to get these highly credible and transferable qualifications available on the NZQA framework, and ensure work toward these certificates “counts’ in the school environment. Student will not only be well placed to enter the workforce, but will be capable of maintaining their own school computer networks, helping to address the shortage of technical skills in some regions.

This project is led by Microsoft, in partnership with Clear Communications, IBM, TVNZ and TKI.

Participating Schools:

Campion College

Gisborne Boys High School

Gisborne Girls High School

Lytton High School

Kelston Boys’ High School

Kelston Girls’ High School

Rutherford College

Waitakere College

Partners

1. Microsoft -generous support and leadership

- Operating software

- Course content and examinations

2. BCL - have accommodated the expanded project in Gisborne without additional costs

- broadband delivery

3. Clear -

- ISP

4. IBM

- provided the latest equipment at very favourable prices

- Computers

5. Renaissance and Compac

- supplying datashow projectors and printers

- equipment

ENDS

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