NZ invests in digital access for low-income students
New Zealand has launched a 3.5 million euro ‘All Equity Fund’ that will give disadvantaged students better access to digital tools, skills and knowledge. The project will benefit 12,500 children a year over three years.
Announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins, the fund is part of a 22 million euro government funding package to make digital technologies more accessible for school kids.
The Ministry of Education is teaming up with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) and Karrikins Group to deliver innovative programmes that captures students’ imagination. Karrikins Group and Te Papa will work in partnership with schools/kura across the country.
The Karrikins Group’s ‘Digital Ignition’ programme is designed to make children ‘think digitally’ and will include robots, 3D printing and coding. Geraint Martin, Chief Executive of Te Papa, said the museum will work with other museums to bring technology-rich learning to students, enabling them to tell their own stories as they build their knowledge. The goal is to have the two different programmes to help support learning in a culturally relevant and meaningful way.
Chris Hipkins said: “It’s really important that all children are given the opportunity to improve their digital literacy to prepare them for the modern workforce. The fund is about ensuring that students who may otherwise have limited access to digital technologies aren’t missing out.”