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High-tech school funding boost

A SLEW of public primary schools in the east metropolitan region are set to benefit from thousands of new tablets, laptops, desktop computers and accessories.

Last week Education Minister Peter Collier announced 572 schools would receive funding to purchase new hardware and software under the State Government’s $20 million Primary Device Program for 2016-17.

“There is a growing evidence which shows the importance of developing students’ digital literacy,” he said.

“The recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, ‘Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection’, makes the case for technology in schools so children can learn the skills they need to succeed in the future.”

Amongst the primary schools to receive funding are Anzac Terrace, Anne Hammersley, Arbor Grove, Aveley, Ballajura, Bassendean, Beechboro, Chidlow, Clayton View, Darlington, Dawson Park, East Beechboro, Ellen Stirling, Ellenbrook, Falls Road, Forrestfield, Gidgegannup, Glen Forrest, Greenmount, Gooseberry Hill, Herne Hill, High Wycombe, Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Lockridge, Maida Vale, Middle Swan, Mundaring, Parkerville, Pickering Brook, Sawyers Valley, Swan View, Upper Swan, Walliston, Wattle Grove, West Beechboro, Woodbridge and Woodlupine.

Moorditj Noongar Community College, Bullsbrook College and education support centres in Kalamunda and South Ballajura have also received funding.

Mr Collier said the technology would be integrated carefully into learning programs.

“When part of a balanced education program, IT devices can be powerful tools for helping students improve their literacy and numeracy skills,” he said.

Mr Collier said schools could invest in new devices and accessories such as charging stations, trolleys, power boards and monitors, with school funds matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government up to a total of $20m.

The State Government will also spend $10m to maximise the internet bandwidth in public schools and $6.7m to install extra wireless infrastructure.

BY SARAH BROOKES

About Sarah Brookes

Sarah is an award-winning journalist (2016 WA Media Awards - Best Three Suburban Newspaper Stories) who has covered our Mundaring and Kalamunda editions since 2011. She went to Eastern Hills Senior High School before studying chemistry and biology at university. Staring down a microscope two years into her degree she realised a future in science wasn’t for her – journalism was. Sarah lived in Europe before re-settling in Darlington, where her family has lived for three generations, with her two children. She has worked for various government agencies and Media Monitors. Sarah is a media junkie who loves talkback radio and devours the weekend papers.

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