Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country.

Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the internet in their classrooms will be replaced and Crown-owned company N4L will extend its helpdesk services to inside schools so there’s a single point of contact for all internet access issues.

“We want New Zealand to be the best country in the world to grow up as a child, and that means all students, no matter where they live or what their background have access the best education possible,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“With schools becoming more reliant on the internet to deliver the curriculum, we need to ensure that all schools have access to high-speed internet that’s reliable, resilient, safe and secure.

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

“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.

“This programme is yet another way the Government is supporting schools to give every child the best chance to succeed.

“Principals and Boards of Trustees of these schools can now be confident they have access to the support and tools for their students to thrive,” Chris Hipkins said.

The pilot will inform the roll out of the programme to the other 190 schools by mid-2020.