The Gillard Government has allocated $2.4 billion into the Digital Education Revolution, enabling all Australian students between years nine to 12 to have access to a computer when they return on the first day of the school term in 2012.
According to education minister, Peter Garrett, education authorities across the country have already installed more than 713,000 computers, with the final lot of computers to be installed over the summer holidays.
All computers have been purchased and allocated by school authorities, taking the total to be delivered under the program to more than 786,000 computers since the first few were installed in 2008.
“Our school computer rollout has delivered real benefits to students and schools who would have otherwise missed out on the education opportunities that new technology brings. Every senior high school student is now able to develop skills required for higher education or entering the workforce,” Mr Garrett said.
He stated that the school computer program was of extra benefit to students and teachers in rural and remote locations, who can now access online education resources.
“Students in remote locations can study a second language by communicating online and in real-time with native language speakers in other countries, and students in the outback can interact and learn with their peers in the inner-city,” he said.
The Government will also be investing to provide any additional digital resources that teachers and students require in making the most of the technology – including a $41 million digital package to support the implementation of the Australian curriculum.
Mr Garrett said the Government’s plan is in contrast to the Opposition’s strategies of slashing school funding.
“The Coalition is on record as saying they will cut $2.8 billion from schools, including more than $640,000 from the Digital Education Revolution,” he added.
Under the National Secondary School Computer Fund, state and territory governments and non-government school systems are responsible for purchasing and delivering the computers in their schools.