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$220,000 Wairarapa schools project WELCom

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

16 August 2005 Media Statement

$220,000 Wairarapa schools project WELCom

Five Wairarapa and Tararua schools will receive extra funding for an information and communication technologies project designed to overcome distance barriers.

“The Wairarapa E-Learning Community (WELCom) project will receive $222,000 over the next five years to establish video conferencing facilities, develop video conferencing teaching skills, and enhance community partnerships,” Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today while announcing the project at Kuranui College.

The schools involved in the Wairarapa E-Learning Community are Kuranui College, Dannevirke High School, Makoura College, Tararua College and Chanel College.

“The WELCom project is an opportunity to strengthen the learning opportunities for students in the five schools,” said Trevor Mallard.

The project aims to establish a ‘virtual’ secondary school community for the Tararua and Wairarapa region using broadband and video-conferencing technologies.

“These new technologies break down the traditional barriers semi-rural schools face,” said Trevor Mallard.

“They will allow the schools to broaden their range of subjects, teachers can use them for professional development and mentoring, and principals and boards of trustees to access resources and share information,” he said.

The project will receive the money from the Ministry of Education’s Collaborative Innovations Fund. Each year this fund provides one million dollars to encourage educational projects between schools that enhance student learning.

“The support of the Collaborative Innovations Fund to projects such as WELCom helps schools to build an education system that equips New Zealanders with 21st Century skills and lessens the impact of isolation on students and staff,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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