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Local MP Barbara Kuriger welcomes the news of a new educational proposal regarding the establishment of Communities of Online Learning (COOLs) as part of the update to the Education Act.

“The new Education (Update) Amendment Bill is about enabling schools to provide Kiwi kids with a flexible 21st Century education, focused on their achievement,” said Barbara Kuriger.

“Part of this is the acknowledgement of the need to modernise the way we handle online learning, which will be done through the establishment of Communities of Online Learning. The impact of technology on education is huge, and we are in a very different space today to what we were just 10 years ago,” said Kuriger.

This would see schools, tertiary providers, or private providers setting up COOLs, allowing children and young people to access their education through online delivery.

“The Virtual Learning Network (VLN) Primary School teaches a range of online classes and reaches into our most rural parts of New Zealand every day. Over 80 schools and 1500 students have been members of the VLN Primary School since 2009.

“The VLN Primary School works with a number of the small, rural schools in my electorate, and I am thrilled to read their PR supporting the introduction of COOLs in our education sector. I am confident that the introduction of COOLs will assist the VLN Primary School in their everyday work, and will lead to continued educational success for those students in remote New Zealand,” said Kuriger.

“Often in rural New Zealand there are limited subjects on offer for students, due to schools not being able to provide a specialised teacher. Whether it’s a foreign language or a special subject, students and teachers are able to connect through the VLN Primary School, and increase the educational opportunities for rural students.

“The commitment by the Government to introduce COOLs in a formal manner in the Education Act will mean the VLN Primary School has further opportunities to reduce the geographical and social isolation of these students, and give them opportunities to learn alongside their peers from all across the country.

 “I look forward to the success of this innovative way of delivering education in a digital manner in our rural communities,” said Barbara Kuriger.

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