Queensland children in remote areas will gain access to a new digital long-distance learning resource under changes passed by State Parliament last night.
The “e-kindy” program, designed for kids who are unable to make it to regular kindergartens, is expected to be available from next year.
LNP Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek supports the scheme that was originally proposed by the former Labor government.
“The Newman government is committed to providing universal access to quality early childhood education, which is why we are working to make kindergarten programs more accessible to families that can’t regularly access a centre-based kindergarten program,” Mr Langbroek said.
“The distance education program is based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines and provides opportunities for children to participate in teacher-delivered web lessons, interactive online activities including iPad applications, in-home activities derived from teacher-developed materials and possible opportunities for children to interact face-to-face with other children and their teacher.”
It has been developed to ensure kids in remote locations, those with medical issues and those whose parents have itinerant lifestyles, such as carnival workers, still have access to quality education.
E-kindy is to be delivered by State Schools of Distance Education and will be provided free to those eligible to register.
Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association president Andrew Pegler said he was excited about the program to be rolled out early next year.
“We have had a trial program running throughout this year and all the feedback we have received so far has been positive. We haven’t had one complaint,” he said.
“So far all the work has been done out of Brisbane, but next year we are hoping to get more teachers involved to establish a local presence in the regions.”
Legislative changes to allow the scheme to proceed were approved by Queensland Parliament last night.
Expressions of interest to enrol in the program are available through the Brisbane School of Distance Education web site: http://brisbanesde.eq.edu.au/
“The distance education program provides opportunities for children to participate in teacher-delivered web lessons, interactive online activities including iPad applications, in-home activities derived from teacher-developed materials and possible opportunities for children to interact face-to-face with other children and their teacher”
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