Rural Access Gap program continues to roll out

Following a successful pilot program in Dubbo, stages two and three of the historic technology upgrades for all regional schools in NSW is now underway. 
The $365.8 million Rural Access Gap program is ahead of schedule, with 1000 rural and remote public schools now receiving a top-to-bottom digital upgrade.  

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said he is thrilled that 29 schools across the area had the opportunity to participate in this historic pilot program. 

“Under the Rural Access Gap program, more than 680 new devices were delivered to students across the region and 540 new laptops were given to teachers. Not only did our schools receive hardware, they were also resourced with mentoring, advice and guidance from a dedicated Digital Learning Adviser,” Mr Saunders said. 
“I’m so excited to see that 545 classrooms in Dubbo now have learning spaces with modern learning displays, giving students access to online learning and other digital opportunities in the most transformational way.” 
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she is thrilled to see the program connect with students and teachers in Dubbo and to give them the best educational resources available through cutting edge technology.  

“Our commitment to regional students is that they have equal access to educational resources and modern equipment, no matter where they live,” Ms Mitchell said.  

“Technology allows us to do this. More than 30,000 devices, including laptops and video-conferencing facilities, will be added to the network as part of the first round, with more to follow.” 

Dubbo Public School Principal Debbie Pritchard said it has made classes more engaging and motivating for students and giving teachers greater visibility on how their students are progressing.  

“I have been in the game for over 30 years and technology has been a large part of that, especially in the latter years. It’s only since this new Rural Access Gap initiative has come through that I’ve really seen some ground gained in technology and the availability of digital technology in schools.”

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