The PEI Home and School Federation is encouraged by the announcement by Hon. Alan McIsaac, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, that capital funding for information technology in the education system will be restored to the provincial budget starting in 2013.
Capital funding for education technology was cut from $500,000 to $0 in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, a cut that so concerned the Home and School Federation that its members passed a resolution at its April 2012 Annual General Meeting calling for funding to be restored.
Members of the Home and School Federation – local home and school associations at 53 schools across the province – are deeply involved in their schools, and know well from teachers and students that the province’s schools are outfitted with out-of-date “hand me down” technology connected to an under-powered network.
Federation President Pam Montgomery expressed hope that the restoration of capital funding is the first step toward bringing the Island’s educational technology into the 21st century. “The money is important,” said Montgomery, “but it’s only a starting place: we need to engage all partners in the education system to create a comprehensive, systematic, well-funded vision for the use of technology in the classroom.”
The announcement by Minister McIsaac came at the October 30, 2012 Semi-Annual Meeting of the Home and School Federation, a meeting where members also expressed concerns about the complexity of the province’s Acceptable Use Policy for students, and about the growing “digital divide” between households with technology and network access and homes without.
Through its involvement in the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Computers and Information Technology, the Home and School Federation will continue to work with its partners to work to ensure that Island students have the technology and infrastructure required in a modern education system in an increasingly complex world.