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Extra $78 million for education info-technology

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

Extra $78 million for education info-technology

Budget 2003 will inject $77.6 million of new money into information and communications technology (ICT) for schools, teachers and students over four years to ensure they are equipped with 21st century skills, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The package is also designed to bring national coherence to ICT development across the school sector by developing information technology and infrastructure.

“One of our key education priorities is to build an education system that will equip New Zealanders with 21st century skills. ICT is an incredible tool for learning and ICT skills are essential for work and for life in the modern world,” Trevor Mallard said.

“We want everyone to have the ability to connect safely and securely, taking advantage of the vast online opportunities that exist. This budget initiative is an important step in delivering on that goal.

“The investment is also about improving teachers’ skills and classroom practice in ICT to improve learning for students. Effective use of ICT needs to be part of each teacher’s toolkit,” Trevor Mallard said.

The budget investment over four years includes:
- $41.7 million to improve online access to allow schools to connect, in a safe and secure environment, with one another, the Internet, and to the Ministry of Education;
- $17.6 million to expand the laptop leasing programme for teachers;
- $10.3 million to establish 20 additional ICT professional development clusters from 2004;
- $6.2 million to provide increased opportunities to develop and expand effective e-learning practice in schools;
- $1.64 million for the development of a strategic framework for ICT initiatives across the education sector. This will establish clear priorities, develop better co-ordination, and maximise the benefit and value for money of ICT projects;
- $165,000 over two years to support the Internet Safety Group, including the development of resources for those learning in te reo Mäori, while it establishes longer-term funding.

Already announced pre-budget is an extra $15 million in new funding on top of today’s ICT initiatives, to improve the standard of school administration systems through a software and vendor accreditation framework. This project will also improve the ability of secondary and area schools to handle National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data.


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