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34,000 Apples (and Toshibas and HPs) for teacher

34,000 Apples (and Toshibas and HPs) for the teacher

The final instalment of 34,000 laptops destined for all state primary and secondary teachers will start arriving at schools around the country this week Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Some 26,000 teachers have already received or applied for a laptop through the scheme. As a result of new funding in Budget 2005 some 7,950 more teachers will now be eligible for laptops. Schools are offered a choice of Apple, Toshiba or Hewlett Packard brand laptops.

Trevor Mallard, who will be personally delivering a laptop to Tamaki College today, says teachers of junior classes will now have access to these modern classroom tools because of the latest funding boost.

The new funding extends the opportunity to lease laptops to permanent, fulltime teachers of years 1-3 students at state and state-integrated schools. Nationwide this brings the government's investment in the initiative to $71 million.

"Lifting the achievement of all students has been a priority for the government and laptops are a powerful tool helping teachers deliver quality lessons," said Trevor Mallard. "Teachers who’ve already got laptops are finding they have much better skills in using this technology when they teach. Laptops also ease their teaching workloads."

Trevor Mallard says new technologies influence every aspect of our lives: "To achieve the social and economic benefits they can bring, we must continue to build the information and communications capability of teachers."

Trevor Mallard says one of the government's key education priorities is to build an education system that will equip New Zealanders with 21st century skills.

"Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an incredible tool for learning and ICT skills are essential for work and life in a modern world. In 2005/06 the Government will spend around $69 million directly on ICT initiatives in schools."

Separate to this some $46 million has been allocated to project PROBE – delivering high speed internet to communities across New Zealand. In addition, there are currently 80 clusters of schools working together to share best practice through the ICT Professional Development Cluster programme. Additional funding of $2.3 million in Budget 2005 will see this grow to 100 clusters in the coming year.

"This will enable teachers to focus on quality education for a rapidly changing world," said Trevor Mallard.

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