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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3712..

MRS DUNNE: No. Sterling Mortlock is. Remember, you welcomed them home? You said they were doing a fantastic job. Your speech was turgid as.

MR STANHOPE: Anyway, the greatest captain of the greatest team, the Wallabies. It is an interesting debate, the extent to which as a nation and as a community we still do not have that capacity to ensure that women get the same level of recognition and the same level of support that we provide to male athletes. The comparison between Katrina and George is moot in relation to that. I make the point too in relation to Lauren Jackson, who-and I will repeat it-is the greatest sportsperson in the world bar none.

Schools-information technology

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education and Training, Ms Gallagher. Minister, could you outline to the Assembly what steps the government has been taking to improve access to information and communication technology in our schools to ensure that our educational system is provided with contemporary facilities and training?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question and acknowledge her long-term interest in all matters to do with education in the territory. As members would be aware, one of the major features of this government's commitment to education in the ACT has been investment in IT facilities and training. Over the life of this government we have provided laptop PC access to teachers, replaced and upgraded all school servers, delivered broadband rollout to almost all schools as part of a rolling program, fully upgraded school IT administration systems to meet future requirements, provided multimedia software to government schools, provided PCs to our preschools, provided online IT training for all teachers and educational staff, and provided additional funding to the non-government sector for upgrading of infrastructure and facilities in their schools. In this year's budget particularly-and Assembly members may be interested to see how these initiatives are being rolled out-the amount of $11 million was provided for improvements in IT in schools.

The student digital passkey initiative will provide students in government schools with an electronic identity for their entire school life to permit them and their parents to securely access online services. The system architecture for the initiative has been designed and staff have been employed to proceed with this initiative.

The school website enhancement initiative will create customer-centric websites for government schools and provide enhanced, secure and convenient web-based information access to the school community, including students, parents and teachers. The improved services will be integrated with the existing Canberra Schools on the Net service, currently used by 97 ACT government schools. The request for tender for this initiative will be issued later this month.

In relation to the initiative for technical support for student computing initiative of $4 million over the next four years, technicians are now being employed to provide schools with competent technical support for classroom computing networks. For the first time we will have IT professionals working alongside teachers in schools to support their infrastructure.

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