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Government

IT experts control Lib's school tech cash

Under the schools tech fund policy released by Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne on Friday, a Coalition election win would see IT experts and education stakeholders assess and determine what schools get what technology from the $120 million fund.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

Under the schools tech fund policy released by Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne on Friday, a Coalition election win would see IT experts and education stakeholders assess and determine what schools get what technology from the $120 million fund.

On Friday morning, Pyne and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced that, should the Coalition win the election on 21 August, it would abandon the government's laptops in schools program in favour of a $120 million school technology fund.

"The difference between our policies and Labor's is that ours are actually achievable," Pyne said on Friday. "They promised 970,000 laptops in schools whether people wanted them or not and they've delivered about a third."

The Coalition policy documents put out over the weekend state that funds would be paid directly to schools to "avoid state government bureaucracies", but the allocation of the funds would be determined by a "school technology assessment panel" made up of IT experts and education stakeholders.

    The panel would assess the applications schools have made to receive grants of up to $50,000 for a number of different technologies including:
  • interactive whiteboards and projection equipment,
  • learning management systems,
  • ICT training for teachers,
  • computers and/or laptops,
  • software,
  • printers and scanners, and
  • digital cameras and video cameras.

The schools can also receive funding to upgrade power outlets and other necessary upgrades. The plan, according to the documents, will allow schools to determine the appropriate technology for each year level.

Under the proposal, disadvantaged schools would receive a higher priority in funding allocation.

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