Makarora School connected to the world
Makarora pupils will return to school next week to find they now have an important new tool to help them in their education, says Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
During the holidays the small West Otago community school has been connected to an effective point to point wireless broadband service in time for the start of Term One.
Mrs Dean described the connection as a game-changer not only for the school's 16 pupils but its surrounding community.
“Our rural communities are just as important as our larger centres. The Rural School Broadband Installation programme reaffirms this government's commitment to provide broadband equality."
Mrs Dean said while connectivity was important for all students, it was perhaps more so for those living in remote and isolated areas as it provided them with aspects of wider communication contact, well being and security.
Communications Minister Amy Adams, said another 48 remote schools had also been connected allowing their 975 pupils to start learning how to operate effectively in a digital world.
“Faster broadband enables our most remote schools to access the best online resources and break down the barriers created from distance. Students will have the ability to connect to an endless digital library of information and share scarce resources like Māori medium teachers," the Minister said.
The Remote Schools Broadband Initiative (RSBI) was established in 2012 to improve broadband services to remote schools. The programme provides point-to-point wireless broadband (at least 10 megabits per second) for small schools in remote rural areas, where fibre would not be cost-effective.
Authorised for release by Jacqui Dean, MP for Waitaki, Thames Street, Oamaru.