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Swain Opens Wellington High School IT Centre

20 June, 2002

Minister for Information Technology Paul Swain opened Wellington High School’s new $2million IT Centre this afternoon.

Mr Swain commended Wellington High School on its innovative approach to learning. “Wellington High School has long been a leader in providing a more practical type of education,” he said. “When it first opened in 1886 as a technical college, as opposed to an academic college, it was seen as a radical concept. Today it continues to be a leader in embracing new technology and ways of learning. The entire school is networked, there is school-wide internet access and every student has an email address.

“More than a quarter of the almost $2 million spent on the IT centre came from the school and its community. I commend the school for its fundraising efforts and sincerely thank everyone who made a donation to the facility. I can assure you it was a good investment.

“Well-equipped schools, with confident staff and students, good computing equipment and high-speed internet connectivity are also a valuable community asset,” said Mr Swain. “Such schools can provide access and training facilities to the wider community. Wellington High is a leader in this area - putting its assets to good use and demonstrating that education is not just for the young. With today’s rapid rate of social and technological change continuing education is vitally important.”

Mr Swain said that the government’s broadband internet initiative will see most schools get high-speed internet by 2003 with every school in New Zealand being reached by 2004. “Two-way high speed internet is necessary because use of the Internet is not just a matter of accessing information from somewhere else. Schools themselves are generators of knowledge and need to be able to upload information quickly,” said Mr Swain.

Ends

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