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Gisborne Boy's High School new technology suite

Hon Parekura Horomia
13 June 2002 Speech Notes

Opening Gisborne Boy's High School new technology suite opening

Mihi

It is great to be back in Gisborne. Parliament has finished up until after the election so I am not tied to Wellington as much as I was. It is with great pleasure that I am here for the opening the Gisborne Boy's High School technology suite.

Indeed you have impeccable timing because today the government is launching the ICT schools strategy. While I know that a technology suite is much more than computers – ICT is an important part of it.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with information through information technology devices. We need to be able to make sense of the information and use the technology effectively and to our advantage whether it be teaching or learning.

The 2002-04 ICT Strategy launched by Trevor Mallard in Wellington not more than half an hour ago is focused on the future and is flexible – a clear direction for the next 3 years has been set, but with the allowance to ensure we can adapt to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.

I commend the forward thinking of the school – for the benefit of its teachers and students. Early on you acknowledged the need to modernise your facilities so the Technology in New Zealand Curriculum could be properly delivered. In fact Gisborne Boys was amongst the first group of schools to enter the 5 year property programme.

I know that the teachers and students alike will utilise every aspect of this technology suite.

What I want to see happening is this: instead of our young ones, of you and your friends going home from school and diving in front of Play Station 2 – or should I say PS2, I want to see you writing the programmes that create those games. I am sure that some of you will have ideas on how you think the games could be made better – have you taken yourself seriously enough to realise that you could actually do this yourselves. I believe that you can.

This technology suite provides you with an abundance of opportunities to try things out, to see how things work. It could be:
- multi-material workshop technology
- food technology,
- computer-assisted design,
- electronics and control technology,
- graphics and design
- textiles and of course
- ICT

New technology, just like new technology suites create opportunities. If we explore all the opportunities created we will I believe, find those that provide us with the best opportunities we can take up.

The challenge as I see it is to not be deterred, to keep our eyes and ears open and always be on the look out for opportunities. In an information society, such as we live in today, we must learn to adapt to change, and keep on top of the technological advances that are being made.

You are, I know, one of the GEN X (Generation X – an ICT initiative) schools in Gisborne. This is an important initiative for the government. The qualifications available from Microsoft with NZQA recognition can provide you with highly employable skills and is an incredibly exciting opportunity.

The involvement of other companies and organisations such as Clear Communications, IBM, TVNZ, and The Learning Centre Trust ensures that those qualifications are welknown, and understood by the sector. This will be valuable when making decisions about jobs within the sector.

This technology suite will not only provide you with the opportunity to familiarise yourselves with the new technology. It assists in creating an environment in which you can dream up your ideas – and then try them out.

Remember - the internet was originally only an idea. So what ideas do you have that you have not tested. I ask you to use this technology suite to test all your ideas, do not leave a single idea untested, for perhaps that single idea is 'the one' that has the potential to make a world of difference.

I declare the Gisborne Boy's High School technology suite officially open.


ENDS

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