$1.7m technology grant for schools

Otago Primary Principals Association executive member Ros McQuillan-Mains and Community Trust of...
Otago Primary Principals Association executive member Ros McQuillan-Mains and Community Trust of Otago chief executive Keith Ellwood with an outline of the trust's latest funding framework for ICT equipment. In the background, using an interactive whiteboard, John Brosnahan and Henessey Griffiths (both 11), of Dunedin's Tainui School, play a maths game. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The future of information and communication technology (ICT) education in Otago primary schools has never looked so healthy following a $1.7 million grant over the next five years from the Community Trust of Otago.

Trust chief executive Keith Ellwood made the announcement at an Otago Primary Principals Association breakfast meeting at the Mercure Hotel in Dunedin yesterday.

Mr Ellwood said grants would be dispersed via a plan under which schools could apply for funding of up to $100 a pupil to buy ICT equipment.

"For approved applications, the trust will match dollar for dollar funds contributed by the school, with additional allowances for decile 1 to 3 schools and schools with small rolls.

"The trust's total contribution will be up to the equivalent of $100 a student, based on school rolls at July 2008. The total dollar value of this contribution - if all schools were able to access their full entitlement - would be approximately $1.7 million."

Funding will begin on January 1 next year and will run until December 31, 2013.

Mr Ellwood said the grant was the second from the trust in the past decade.

The trust donated $1.7 million in 1998 for primary schools in the region to purchase ICT equipment and yesterday's announcement of further funding was part of its continued support.

"The trust is wishing to maintain its support for ICT in schools as a means of improving the learning outcomes of our young people.

"Many schools will use the funding to update their equipment. Our hope is that they will use the funding to get into more innovative technology."

Otago Primary Principals Association executive member Ros McQuillan-Mains said it was an exciting time for Otago primary schools.

"It will enable schools to utilise a range of exciting technological devices to enhance children's learning. It opens up wonderful educational opportunities for school communities.

"We're just so appreciative of this gift to Otago schools."

Full details of the funding plan will be forwarded to each primary school in the region.


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