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Returning students get IT boost

Two hundred schools are set to receive an IT boost in 2020 with the rollout of the Technology in Schools work program (Te Mana Tūhono).

The program will initially launch as a pilot in 10 smaller State schools.

Minister for Education, Chris Hipkins said with schools becoming more reliant on the internet to deliver the curriculum, there was a need to ensure all schools had access to high-speed internet that was reliable, resilient, safe and secure.

“Internet connections in schools can be vulnerable because of their location or difficulties finding the right IT support,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Schools do a great job delivering our world-leading curriculum, preparing learners to be connected, global citizens, but they often find it more difficult finding the expertise they need to maintain reliable, high-speed connections.”

He said the pilot would inform the rollout of the program to the remaining 190 schools by mid-2020.

Meanwhile, Mr Hipkins said the families of around 428,000 students returning to school for the new year would feel less of a financial pinch than in previous years.

“The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for donations takes a lot of pressure off,” Mr Hipkins said.

“We’re also rolling out a free school lunch program that will initially benefit 6,000 students, increasing to 21,000 children by the end of the year,” he said.