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Investing in quality

Investing in quality learning and teaching and improving literacy and numeracy are top priorities for the government in Budget 2002.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said initiatives included support for professional development and increased spending on resources including internet-based resources.

“We have allocated nearly $7 million over four years to be a collaborative partner in the Australian $68 million Learning Federation Project. Together we will develop high quality digital education content available to all schools. We will get a much better product than we would ever be able to provide alone and our participation will ensure suitability for the New Zealand school curriculum.

“The material will be available through Te Kete Ipurangi – New Zealand’s online resource centre. We are also increasing funding to TKI by an additional $700,000 a year – or $2.8 million over four years - to take the total to $7.8 million in year four.

“TKI already provides a wealth of resources to support learning and administration in schools and more than 2000 people a day are visiting the site. The extra funding will be used to help support work with the National Library and overseas education portals to increase the range of resources available.

“To enable teachers to develop the skills they need to make effective use of modern technology, the government has allocated an extra $1.3 million in 2002-03 and $2.57 million in future years to fund another 20 ICT professional development clusters. This will boost funding for this successful initiative to $33 million and will allow teachers from up to 200 additional schools to participate.

“The budget includes an increase of $1.5 million a year for children’s literacy materials, including school journals and the ready to read series. This increase, the first since 1993 and long overdue, will take yearly funding to $5.5 million.

“We’ve also allocated $5.3 million over four years to extend the tools for assessing primary school children’s progress in literacy and numeracy to years 8-10. High quality assessment tools are an important part of monitoring children’s progress and lifting standards.

“At the secondary level, there is $6.8 million over four years to support teacher professional development for National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) levels 2 and 3 and to fund research into the effects of the NCEA on teaching and learning.”

“These initiatives show our commitment a quality education system,” Trevor Mallard said.


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