The Northern Territory Government has increased the subsidy it provides isolated families to better support their children’s online learning.
Lauren Moss, the Territory’s minister of education, announced that families in remote areas will have their internet costs subsidised up to $165 per month – an increase of $110.
In a statement, the territory’s government said that more than 50 isolated families and their children, who undertake study through distance education, will benefit from the subsidy.
The government added that the subsidy will remain in place as it works with stakeholders “to identify a long-term solution to ensure that students and young children accessing distance learning have more consistent and sustainable internet services.”
“Every territory child, regardless of where they live, deserves access to a quality education,” Minister Moss said. “For students in isolated areas, that means having access to reliable and affordable internet services so they can learn through the wonderful NT School of Distance Education.”
Minister Moss added that the NT Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association had “strongly advocated for better and more affordable internet services for isolated students.”
“We have listened and acted on their feedback and will continue to work with them and isolated families to further enhance their children’s learning through distance education,” she said.
The NT Government said that the subsidy comes on top of other support provided to students living on properties and other isolated areas – including teacher and support staff home visits, assistance for students with additional needs through the coordination of support services, the conveyance subsidy, and additional allowances for boarding students.
For her part, Sarah Cook, president of the NT Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association, said that her organisation will “continue to work with the Northern Territory government to make sure our children are receiving the best education possible.”
“This increase to the $165 subsidy is a great step in reaching a long term sustainable set up for distance education.”