The nation’s schools could soon be getting better computer networks.
Another round of government tenders is planned to help schools build a more robust network structure, aimed at improving communication internally and with the Ministry of Education and internet-mediated information.
“To ensure the quality of the schools’ network infrastructure and ability to connect to wider networks, the ministry will call for tenders to carry out an audit of current networks against agreed industry standards and provide resources to assist schools to reach those standards,” says a spokesperson for Education Minister Trevor Mallard.
“The timings and rollout of this initiative will depend on the result of the tender process but work has started on the [proposals tender].”
The audit will be the subject of a national tender, rather than being regionalised like the Probe broadband network tenders. Decisions on subsequent stages will depend on the outcome of the audit, says Mallard’s representative.
The network vetting and improvement proposals were one of the major IT-relevant points in this month’s Budget announcements. A sum of $41.7 million has been voted for these improvements.
Another $17.6 million is earmarked for provision of more laptops to school staff, $10.3 million for the formation of “clusters” to encourage IT-associated professional development, and $1.64 million for “the development of a strategic frameworkfor ICT initiatives across the education sector.
“This will establish clear priorities, develop better co-ordination, and maximise the benefit and value for money of ICT projects,” the minister says.