THREE notebook vendors, Apple, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard, are set to reap an annual $20-million Ministry of Education subsidy. The lion’s share will go to Toshiba.
TELA, a Ministry of Education initiative to provide teachers with laptops, was extended in this year’s budget to include around 8,000 primary school teachers.
Under the scheme, approved teachers are reimbursed for two thirds of the costs of leasing a base-level laptop for three years.
Since TELA was introduced in 2002, over 27,000 laptops have been distributed.
A ministry spokesperson confirmed that 98% of the budget will go to the vendors and their partners Axon (HP), The Laptop Company (Toshiba) and Renaissance for Apple.
The ICT unit within the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing policy and contractual arrangements with the vendors as well as the coordination of contracts and distribution.
Callum Eade, Toshiba country manager, says TELA has been a good opportunity to help establish his company’s brand.
“The knock-on effect is great and education has been a huge growth area for the company,” he says.
Eade says Toshiba has the majority share of the market - approximately 65%.
Brent Simpson, Apple national education manager, says the scheme works brilliantly for Apple and Renais-
sance, which benefit from providing services.
“We’re really looking forward to extending into primary schools, although Apple already has high penetration in that market,” he says.
He says Apple offers a comprehensive professional development service for teachers, not only training in software but how to integrate IT skills into the classroom. Under the scheme schools can also lease-to-own data projectors, network equipment, video and digital cameras and external floppy drives. News of the subsidies comes as part of the Digital Horizons Strategy announced by IT and Communications minister David Cunliffe earlier this month.
Initiatives under the $57-million e-education scheme include establishing 80 ICT professional development clusters (Ministry-speak for training), e-learning teacher fellowships and early childhood ICT education.