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Online initiative clicks for Otago schools

David Parker
MP for Otago

30 August 2005 Media Statement

Online initiative clicks for Otago schools

A new government initiative is helping 547 students at 18 small Otago schools to tap into the online world.

The schools are Omakau School, Paerau School, St John's School, Ranfurly, Tarras School, all in Central Otago; Makarora Primary School, Five Forks and Kakanui schools in Waitaki District; and Brighton, Broad Bay, Dunedin Rudolf Steiner, Liberton Christian, Ocean View, Sara Cohen, St Joseph's in or around Dunedin, Port Chalmers, and Strath Taieri School.

The local schools are some of 300 small schools nationwide that don't yet have network infrastructure, that will soon be able to access resources such as digital learning and multi-media materials to help students learn.

Otago MP David Parker says the schools will all be eligible for new funding announced today by the government to help small schools buy computer network infrastructure.

"This infrastructure is often difficult for small schools to provide, but our students have a right to learn 21st Century skills so the government has targeted them with this package," said David Parker.

"New Zealand needs its many small schools simply because of the topography and the distribution of the population. The Government's working to make sure children and families in the more remote spots get the best quality education.

"Information and Communications Technology is an incredible learning tool and ICT skills are essential for work and for getting along in the modern world. I'm sure our local schools and their students will benefit greatly from today's initiative," said David Parker.

The $11 million government package, announced today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard, subsidises installation of cables and other hardware to meet the needs of small schools. Financial assistance will be made available to schools at a 4:1 contribution for schools with fewer than 77 students, and at a 3:1 contribution for schools with between 78 and 187 students.

ENDS

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