Government welcomes report on 21st century learning environments and digital literacy

  • Hekia Parata
Education

Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed the Education and Science Select Committee’s report on the inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy.

“I recognise the changes happening in the education sector as a result of access to new technologies and greater access to online learning. The way our children learn today, let alone the classrooms children learn in, are very different to the classrooms many parents learnt in and they will continue to evolve and change. We want all our kids to be leaving school with the skills they need to reach their potential in a modern economy.

“Our Government is aware of that and that’s why one of the first things we did when we came into Government was to invest in ultra-fast broadband infrastructure which will allow our schools to be connected to the best online resources in the world.

“We are investing nearly $200 million over five years in connecting schools to ultra-fast broadband. By 2016, 97.7 per cent of schools will receive ultra-fast broadband connections enabling speeds of 100 Mbps. The remaining schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high speed wireless or satellite connection.

“We have also set aside up to $400 million over the next eight years to support the Network for Learning, a dedicated managed network for schools, which will run over the ultra-fast broadband infrastructure. The intention of Network for Learning is to provide schools with affordable, safe, ultra-fast internet access as well as a range of online content and centrally-procured services.

“We recognise that parents want to be able to participate in their children’s learning using these technologies, that’s why in Christchurch we are in the process of setting up digital online communities so communities can be more involved in the education renewal programme there.

“I am keen that more work is done to ensure that our education system better reflects 21st century learning and that children and teachers take full advantage of the digital learning opportunities and resources available to them.

“I appreciate the time spent by the Select Committee in preparing this report, and the work and energy that has gone into it over the last eight months. I will now consider the report and the contribution it can make to our digital literacy work and respond in due course.’’