Western Australia is to deliver its education services to remote schools in the Northern Territory using advanced communication technology as part of a new agreement announced today.
Education Minister Kay Hallahan said the Education Ministry would provide a range of services to an initial five Northern Territory schools starting immediately.
Mrs Hallahan was speaking during a computer link up between herself and Federal Education Minister Kim Beazley in Perth and the Northern Territory Education Minister Shane Stone in Alice Springs.
The Minister said technological advances were breaking down geographic barriers to the delivery of education and training to regional and remote people.
“Western Australia is at the leading edge of technological advances in education because of innovations to overcome the State's vast distances and sparse population,” she said.
“Northern Territorians will now benefit from WA's expertise.”
Key elements of the agreement with the Northern Territory included:
· a computer mail link between NT and WA schools to allow students and teachers to exchange information;
· sharing of the Life Science television programs produced by WA's Distance Education centre; and
· training NT teachers in the use of advanced technology communication links.
NT schools involved in the project included Alyangula Area School, Nhulunbuy High School, Tennant Creek High School, Jabiru Area school and Yirara College - which would be linked to Kununurra District High School in Western Australia.
Mrs Hallahan said in Western Australia ‘telematics’ - or interactive computer links - would be extended to more than 80 schools by the end of the year to provide wider subject choices and other learning opportunities.
Other forms of technology, including interactive video and facsimile link ups, were being trialled throughout the State.