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$411,200 for Otago projects for gifted students

Thursday 1 September 2005

$411,200 for Otago projects for gifted students

Two Otago projects aimed at supporting gifted and talented learners in our region are to gain up to $411,200 in new government funding.

Central Otago's Rural Education Activities Programme will receive up to $168,300* over three years in partnership with the George Parkyn National Centre for Gifted to develop a One Day School programme to meet the needs of rural students in the Otago region. The programme aims to enable rurally isolated gifted students to find a peer group that with guidance will encourage a positive attitude to learning as well as address their social and emotional needs.

The Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago will receive up to $242,900* over three years for a programme aimed at developing students' abilities in investigations, enquiry, and analysis. Students will explore the relationship between perception and response under the umbrella theme of the marine world. The programme is for students and teachers from clusters of primary and secondary schools in Dunedin as well as for small isolated rural schools across the south island.

Both projects are two of 21 innovative programmes nationwide that will share from the government’s funding pool of nearly $4.2 million for initiatives in gifted education.

Otago MP David Parker welcomed the funding announcement saying it reflected the quality and innovation of programmes being developed for gifted learners in our region.

"New Zealand’s gifted education policy is an example of community developed and community driven policy," said David Parker. "Successes include the growing size and knowledge base of the national gifted education community. The community continues to work together to constructively address the issues in gifted education.

"As a result, a distinctly New Zealand approach to gifted education is developing. This includes a commitment to meeting the needs of gifted and talented learners in the regular classroom as well as through separate provision, a broad definition of giftedness and talent and the corresponding promotion of a wide range of appropriate identification procedures.

"Gifted learners may be found in every classroom and school in New Zealand, and therefore the regular classroom is the first place where the learning needs of gifted and talented students are to be met," said David Parker. "However, in recognition of the diversity of gifted students’ needs and the need for a range of provision, special programmes like these ones receive financial support."

* Please Note: Figures are provisional and are still subject to final negotiation and contract.

ENDS

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