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Just a question/discussion on government funding for ICT in NZ Schools. Reading 'Interface' magazine today (Issue 16, term ...
3rd June 2009, 05:11 AM #1
Just a question/discussion on government funding for ICT in NZ Schools. Reading 'Interface' magazine today (Issue 16, term 2), I see the front page article on bulk buying for school's ICT. In the article, Anne Tolley talks about $150 Million being available over the next 3 years for "Upgrading ICT Infrastructure" and further down the article Douglas Harre is quoted as saying that $34 Million is available for "Network upgrades", available as of the 1st July.
Does anyone know what this really means? How do we get access to this funding? What are the pre-requisites of a school to get funding? Or am I jumping the gun and it hasn't been officially decided yet?
3rd June 2009, 06:44 AM #2
First off where did you get the interface magazine, is it education based and, does the school have a subscription?
Back on topic, the funding so far has been a rather bad joke played out by the MoE. A year of so ago schools were asked to complete a survey to assess their networks and infrastructure, at the end of this the worst schools (read the ones who had not bothered) were given full funding and contracted help to install propper networks including cableing and switching (up to a high standard).
TKI - The ICT Helpdesk - About the ICT Helpdesk
The story goes that once that lot had been done they would progressivly reward/fund the worst schools untill the money ran out. This new batch of funding could be included in that or could be separate but if the funding model stays the same most of it will end up in schools that are rather technology adverse and may sit largely dormant. 31 March 2007 – Stage 2 of the School Network Upgrade Project
Stage 1 of the School Network Upgrade project has now been completed successfully. Around 330 small schools have had a school-wide network installed since the project began in September 2005.
The Ministry of Education has received further funding to commence Stage 2. Schools in this round have rolls between 130 and 260 and have little or no network infrastructure. The expectation is to assist around 70 schools to upgrade their networks.
This initiative will help teachers and students in these schools have a reliable and stable network. This is required to support the widening range of ICT
initiatives in the classroom and administration area.
Edit: Found the link to the magazine site http://www.interfacemagazine.co.nz/index.cfm and realize that I have seen it once before, but have not seen it since.
Found the actual article: http://www.interfaceonline.co.nz/art...m?c_id=&id=131
I looks like it is for broadband funding for schools, no idea how to tap into it as yet or whether it will be avalible for us or distributed as above. I will be telling the principals at a couple of my schools to resubmit their local fibre loop submissions though incase they get read by the appropriate people.
Last edited by SYNACK; 3rd June 2009 at 07:22 AM.
3rd June 2009, 08:10 AM #3
Thanks SYNACK. I know a little about the funding for small schools as a rural school I used to support managed to get basically a brand new network excluding servers, for not very much money as part of that scheme.
I was kind of hoping that this was a completely new round of funding but having read what you have said, and talked to some others, it would seem to be, like you said a contiuation of the feeding of the small, poor or lazy schools first.
I'm going to ring Douglas Harre tomorrow so will let you know what I find out, if anything...
27th June 2009, 11:16 AM #4
27th June 2009, 12:45 PM #5
Thanks Douglas. I haven't called yet, but I will now. Personally my problem is that as part of a new job of Network Manager at Otago Girls' in Dunedin, I have inherited an ageing server and network infrastructure. The board have found money for server upgrades that I am putting in place now, but as always this is only part of the issue. We are despatately short of cabling and decent switching gear, and the school is relying heavily on wireless, which in turn is adding to issues with Musac and network problems in general. We need upgrades to our internal infrastructure equally, or more so than any upgrades to high speed fibre broadband. Good to see you on here anyway.
27th June 2009, 06:53 PM #6
Thanks for your reply Douglas, great to see you on here.
Eeek that survey was in 2004, time does fly. Anyhow, apologies if my post sounded a little harsh. From my viewpoint at the time there were great promises made about the involvement of the MoE to help bring IT up to standard in NZ schools. Many of the initiatives were/are great, the Microsoft, Apple, Surfcontrol and CA Deals for instance which I do hope are being continued? Anyhow these had a huge impact in the areas that I was involved in helping to tame the rather wild environment of primary school IT.
Originally Posted by dharre49
A rather less stunning showing was the network infrastructure requirements/guidelines documents. These although a good and necessary idea became much weaker when they were reworded as recommendations rather than requirements. This was, if my memory is accurate followed shortly thereafter by the network survey which was billed - correctly - as a way to allocate resources to bring schools up to standard. My issues with it came after it was completed as there seemed to be very little feedback returned telling us where we stood. A while after that a short posting was issued on the - apparently now abandoned - TKI ICT helpdesk page which stated that a bunch of schools with very little IT had been chosen and were being upgraded by the ministry. At this time there was no further information that I could find with any of the details that you have just provided. I am certain that it was great for those particular schools and I am pleased to hear that it did require some contribution on their part.
I have been in many different schools - even small rural ones - doing IT and helping out and most of these have made the effort to install some IT. I am aware that for some of the very small schools this may be a challenge or actually impossible and so I am happy that these schools were able to be assisted. My concerns were in schools that simply did not care being handed something than most of my schools have had to make a real sustained effort to achieve. In fact we still don't have the power point numbers that you quoted above.
It would have been good if the grades were available somewhere to provide motivation/chastiseation to the schools involved.
The local fibre loop proposal that I was talking about was one that we had submitted before and as I could not find any further information as to the exact nature of the funding I suggested resubmitting it in case. Originally I figured that since the North Shore had got funding for a local loop we may as well give it a go as well but the response to this was not as positive as we had hoped.
Originally Posted by dharre49
By the target group do you mean High Schools etc or are there a special group of chosen schools. You also said before that "schools that are involved in other MoE projects may be prioritised". Are you able to elaborate on the projects and possibly on how they were able to get involved?
Originally Posted by dharre49
I shall send you a PM with the names of the schools that I am involved in
Originally Posted by dharre49
While you are here and on the same topic I wonder if I could ask a few more questions. First up is it likely that the schools Microsoft deal will be renewed. If not we will need to plan a new budget for next year. Also when it comes to the MoE managed internet deal will there be any more licences for the Surfcontrol products allocated and more importantly for us will we be able to access any upgrades to the product?
When I saw your username come up on the new users list I did wonder and I am glad that it did turn out to be the D Harre from the MoE.
21st September 2009, 05:40 AM #7
See here for a press release on 14 schools that are getting network upgrades partially funded by the MOE
If anyone can give me some clear advice on how a school applies for the next round of funding (as mentioned in the article to be announced early next year), please let me know. I have spent the last 3 months phoning and emailing Douglas Harre and the Ministry to be told that they are too busy to talk to us. Is there some mysterious group that we have to be a member of or a secret handshake that I just don't know?....
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