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Budget 2006: Transforming the learning environment

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Education

Transforming the learning environment

Schools will be able to use the latest technology to transform the learning experience for students as a result of Budget 2006 delivering $33 million over four years, Education Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

The package includes capital funding of $9 million over the next two years.

"The initiatives are aimed at ensuring our teachers continue to have access to the latest tools so they can foster learning in the most exciting environment.

"Parents and students expect a 21st century learning experience. That's why since 2000 the Labour-led government has invested more than $300 million to ensure ICT is an integral part of the learning environment in every school.

"Almost all children now have access to ICT and the learning opportunities it offers, including broadband access to every school gate, and more than 100 ICT clusters. We are committed to ensuring all schools are able exploit this."

New investments include:
• Expanding the Virtual Learning Network, which provides video conferencing and resource sharing between schools ($812,000 over three years)
• Access to the Learning Federation, a Trans-Tasman programme that provides high-quality, interactive digital content for teachers and students ($4.1 million over three years)
• Providing remote schools with satellite broadband at a subsidised rate, including in the Chatham Islands and Pitt Island ($700,000 over two years)
• Making on-line services more secure, easier to access, and more joined up – including the choice of a secure online account, a single point of access to all services, and better information sharing across the education sector ($12.1 million over four years - plus capital funding of $4.5 million)
• A national web-based enrolment management system, to replace the outdated card-based system and improve attendance ($6 million over four years, plus $4.5 million capital over two years)
• The government also intends to purchase new software licensing to give all schools access to the latest software.

"This investment will help ensure schools use new technology to make teaching more exciting and innovative, and lift the standards for all students," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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