The Federal Government has moved to reassure the public that its Computers in Schools program is still on track to deliver one computer per student in years 9 to 12 by the end of 2011.
According to the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, some 696,000 computers had been funded, and of these, 297,000 had been rolled out and were in use by students.
In February, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also moved to reassure the public that the program was on track and claimed there were 260,000 computers in use at schools across the country.
The Digital Education Revolution was announced in November 2007 and is spending some $2.1 billion to achieve a one-to-one computer to student ratio by the end of 2011.
In the roughly 32 months since the announcement, 297,000 computers have been rolled out, at a rate of 9281 per month.
If the present roll-out rate continues, the Government would have just 482,625 computers in use by its December 31 2011 deadline – well short of the 696,000 funded to date.
In a belated attack on the Opposition, Gillard claimed that its plans to cancel the Computers for Schools program – as flagged in the Opposition’s Budget 2010 Reply – would be “a return to the educational dark ages.”
“Instead of leaving schools having used the latest technology that will help them get a job, students will leave school having used the same teaching technology that’s been around for the last 50 years, and they’ll remain unprepared for the jobs of the 21st century,” Gillard said in a statement.