Dig­i­tal boost for ru­ral stu­dents

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - EDUCATION -

OVER the next year, 347 small ru­ral and re­gion­ally based Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment schools will re­ceive a bet­ter dig­i­tal ed­u­ca­tion.

The Vic­to­rian Bud­get 2017/18 in­cluded a $16.4 mil­lion state-wide in­vest­ment to im­prove band­width and dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity for stu­dents in ru­ral and re­gional Vic­to­ria.

It will dou­ble the in­ter­net band­width of these smaller ru­ral and re­gional schools and level the play­ing field so that stu­dents and teach­ers out­side of our cities aren’t left be­hind.

Ru­ral and re­gional schools will have faster and more re­li­able ac­cess to on­line teach­ing and learn­ing re­sources to sup­port learn­ing pro­grams and an ex­tended choice of sub­jects to choose from.

This year’s bud­get also in­cludes $67.9 mil­lion for bet­ter IT sup­port for schools and stu­dents across Vic­to­ria.

This fund­ing will see in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy across all gov­ern- ment schools up­graded to pro­vide re­li­able ac­cess to dig­i­tal ser­vices in the class­room that are es­sen­tial to teach­ing and learn­ing.

It also com­pli­ments the roll­out of ten new Tech Schools by re­new­ing Wi-Fi in schools and im­ple­ment­ing a new state-wide vir­tual con­fer­enc­ing sys­tem for more than half a mil­lion stu­dents in Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment schools.

The Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion James Mer­lino said, “We are dou­bling the band­width pro­vi­sion to 347 small ru­ral and re­gional schools across Vic­to­ria to make sure all stu­dents can ac­cess a first-rate dig­i­tal ed­u­ca­tion re­gard­less of where they live.

“By in­vest­ing in dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity for ru­ral and re­gional schools we can en­sure our teach­ers can of­fer the same stan­dard of dig­i­tal ed­u­ca­tion as metropoli­tan schools.

“No stu­dent should miss out on learn­ing the skills they will need for the jobs of the fu­ture.”

LEVEL PLAY­ING FIELD: The state gov­ern­ment claims they will dou­ble the in­ter­net band­width of smaller ru­ral and re­gional schools this year.

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