$46 million technology boost

24 October 2016

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will invest $46 million to improve internet access to around 900 regional and remote NSW public schools.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli kicked off a regional tour today in Orange announcing that all 37 local schools in the electorate would receive upgrades to their Wi-Fi access and internet capacity.

Over the next three days Mr Piccoli will also visit schools in the Northern Tablelands, Barwon and Dubbo electorates. More than 190 schools in these areas will benefit from the technology boost.

"Digital technology is vital to student learning in a modern education system. This upgrade will allow for wireless speeds four times faster than currently available, helping students achieve their best," Mr Piccoli said.

"To ensure schools make best use of their upgraded wireless and internet capability, they will be required to make an application and consult with their school community to identify how they intend to use the technology to improve teaching and learning."

Nationals candidate for Orange Scott Barrett said not only would this increased technological capacity benefit students, it will promote even more innovative classroom practices among teachers.

"There is a learning gap between rural and metropolitan students which needs to be addressed. Country students deserve educational infrastructure that is as good as their city cousins," Mr Barrett said.

"Students and teachers need fast access to online resources anywhere in their schools. Improved internet capability opens up a whole new scope for the way teachers teach and students learn."

The Connecting Country Schools program will invest up to $46 million to boost wireless access and internet capacity in up to 13,000 learning spaces in around 900 regional schools.

Connecting Country Schools builds on the achievements made since 2013 under the NSW Government's $80 million Rural and Remote Education Blueprint. The Blueprint used the benefits of technology to establish Aurora College, Australia's first virtual selective high school giving country students access to specialist subjects and opportunities not available at their local school.


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