School IT upgrades axed
The province of P.E.I. has chopped $500,000 from its capital budget for upgrading information technology for schools.
Parents are asking to have the money reinstated. Maureen Kerr, a parent and an IT consultant who works in Island schools, told CBC News Friday the equipment students are working with is already inadequate.
"They had very little storage space. They were often quite slow, so the kids would be running to class to try to get on the good ones," said Kerr.
At the computer lab at Prince Street School in Charlottetown there are 24 machines. They are government hand-me-downs. Every few years, they get replaced with more recent government hand-me-downs.
The $500,000 in the budget was meant to provide faster internet access and smart TVs for schools. Kerr said it's not an area where cuts can be afforded.
"It's just 21st century skills that they have to have in the world," she said.
P.E.I. Home and School Federation president Owen Parkhouse said he's meeting this week with the Education Minister Alan McIsaac to discuss having the funding reinstated.
"We're so behind technologically right now, we really need to step up and increase the technology if anything," said Parkhouse.
The province says the cut is just a temporary saving measure. Next year it plans to double the money spent on technology upgrades.