Interactive whiteboards go in cuts

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The Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association has slammed Education Minister Peter Collier for his flippant comments on Monday about school funding, particularly with some schools looking to reduce the number of interactive whiteboards they use.

“We are funding our schools throughout Western Australia, that is in all areas, better than they have ever been funded before.”     Education Minister Peter Collier at his press conference on September 16.

After talking with its members in schools right across the state the union has heard that several schools will reduce the number of interactive whiteboards next year because of the funding shortfall.

When the leases expire staff have said the whiteboards will be returned.

“The feedback we are getting from schools paints a very grim picture with cutbacks ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” CPSU/CSA branch assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said.

“The reduction in funding will have a real impact and that includes some schools surrendering their leases on interactive whiteboards.

“We have been told that up to three classrooms will have to share the interactive whiteboard facilities which is totally unacceptable in this day and age.

“Surely our students deserve access to the latest in technology and the accepted standard is for an interactive whiteboard in each classroom.”

Ms Hendon said this was just one of many examples where the cutbacks would have an impact.

“We know of schools that will have to reduce the number of days worked by their library staff that will have a flow-on effect.

“This means that, in many cases, school libraries will be shut for several days of the week, reducing access to resources for students and teachers.”