Every Australian secondary student in Years 9 to 12 will have access to computers and other information technology resources after the Rudd Government’s Digital Education Revolution policy was approved by Cabinet today.
One million Australian students will benefit from this fund – the first step in the Rudd Government’s Education Revolution.
World class ICT in schools will make a real and sustainable change in the way teaching and learning are delivered in classrooms across Australia.
Secondary schools will be able to apply for funding from March 2008 and priority will be given to schools in greatest need.
The fund will allow each school to apply for up to $1 million, depending on enrolments and existing technology. Funding can be used to purchase computers, digital projectors, interactive whiteboards and other equipment.
The Rudd Government will work with the school systems in every state and territory to identify schools that have the highest priority in terms of need, and assist them in making applications to the fund. Over four years, all secondary schools will have access to the fund.
My parliamentary team has already been consulting with schools which struggle with inadequate broadband, insufficient numbers of computers and a lack of access to other aids such as interactive whiteboards.
In delivering our $1 billion program, the Rudd Government will work in partnership with the state, independent and Catholic school sectors.
The Government will immediately commence an audit of the provision of ICT resources and broadband access in all Australian secondary schools and begin discussions with the schools sectors on the roll out of the program.
This fund will connect Australia’s students, teachers and schools to the global digital economy, and help prepare them for the future.