Gillard's round two rains PCs on schools

Gillard's round two rains PCs on schools

Summary: Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced round two of the National Secondary School Computer Fund today, saying it would deliver 141,600 new computers to 1,394 schools around the country.

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Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced round two of the National Secondary School Computer Fund today, saying it would deliver 141,600 new computers to 1,394 schools around the country.

The $141 million cash injection forms part of the Federal Government's plan to spend $2 billion over six years for new ICT equipment for secondary schools in Australia. The Labor Government hopes this will result in a one-to-one ratio of PCs to students in years 9 to 12 nationally by 2011.

The purpose of round two funding is to give all schools in Australia the opportunity to obtain funds to reach the interim ratio of one computer for every two students.

The majority of the round two funding will go to Victoria and Queensland, with 397 Victorian and 363 Queensland schools receiving funding in this latest round. NSW will receive funding for an additional 180 schools.

Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard
(Credit: Australian Labor Party)

In addition to the new PCs, the Queensland's Department of Education and Training (DETA) recently signed a five-year contract with network giant 3Com to supply fast wireless access to Queensland schools.

The NSW Government is currently in the process of tendering for a $200 million roll-out of 20,000 netbooks as well as the wireless networks and services to support them.

In the previous 12 months, the Labor Government has approved funding for almost 260,000 new computers in government, Catholic and independent secondary schools nationwide.

In addition to the funding for PCs for schools, the Federal Government is also providing $100 million for fibre connections to schools, $32.6 million for the creation of online curriculum tools, and additional funding for teacher ICT training.

Topics: Government, Government AU

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5 comments
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  • And in 5 Years time?

    Is there any sound rational basis for needing 1 computer for every 2 kids?

    Is this really the most rational way of improving educational performance?

    What happens in 5 (or less) years time when these computers are obsolescent? Another $2B federal handout or do the states pick up the replacement tag?

    How about tying the handout to reducing the environmental impact of discarded computers? Most states, municipalities and schools and universities do not have any effective e-waste disposal programs?

    Smells like party political pork to me.
    anonymous
  • Though Rudd was our PM

    Everytime I hear of something being implemented by the government it alway by the acting PM Gillard. Does Rudd not realise he is expected to be the one running the country, guess it's easy to forget when you spend most of the time overseas.
    anonymous
  • Education

    Dear E Dunwoody, by the looks of your own grammar it wouldn't hurt you to do a little more study but you obviously know how the information travels or you wouldn't have come far with your disagreement of all this. As an IT person, the reality of what a computer gives the student is huge. The fact that Labor realises this as opposed to the Liberal Party who couldn't give a toss about technology shows how the brain drain of the Howard years has affected us.

    Sharing of computers is not an ideal scenario bcoz of bullying, selfishness & just look at shared computers in work zones for that answer, access becomes all important. The school that my children are going to from this year offer the parents constant updates as to their children's ongoing progress because the children's work & results are being updated on the fly. Yes, we have a userid/password as well.

    Without the Internet & computer access, today's children will not make it in what is a constantly evolving world.

    As the Principal of the school stated & he is my age, "In my day I could look forward to a secure job for most of my life & for forty years I have been that lucky. This year's school leavers can look forward to a new career ever 7 to 8 years of their life so what we have to teach them is how to learn".

    I am very pleased that this man holds my children's education in such a responsible manner.
    anonymous
  • Cowardly Anonymous Strikes Again

    The PM is doing a great job in incredibly poor times. Yes he goes overseas a lot but then again the global crisis, both in business & environment is not on just an Australian scale. Why don't you think about what you are saying instead of being a jerk!
    anonymous
  • Has the Whole of Life Cost been factored in?

    E Dunwoody is right. The obsolete kit will be a major headache, as will maintaining and running the systems. As an "IT Person", Rex should be aware of the issues surrounding the ongoing management of IT assets. There is no sound reason for a 1:1 ratio unless all teaching for all students will be performed in front of a PC. Who is taking onboard the additional overheads? The schools?
    anonymous