Victoria risks obsolete student laptops

 

Government refresh policies found lacking.

The Victorian Government's acting auditor-general has called for more school funding to avoid the looming "mass obsolescence" of up to 40,000 high school student laptops by 2015.

Dr Peter Frost said nearly a quarter of the laptops delivered to students at state schools under the federal Digital Education Revolution scheme would become obsolete within three years as the state education department failed to provide the additional funding required to replace the computers before obsolescence.

The scheme saw the Australian Government sink a total $2.4 billion into achieving a computer-to-student ratio of 1:1 across those in Years 9 to 12 between 2008 and 2013, along with supplementary support and education programs.

Each state was given funding to pick devices under the program suited to government schools in its area, with Victoria urging public schools to pick a 10.1-inch or 11.6-inch netbook of up to $600 from Acer or Toshiba for their students.

A total 83,155 devices were deployed at Victorian schools by January this year, with an additional 34,000 expected to be rolled out throughout 2012.

But the state had fallen behind on meeting the 1:1 ratio by the end of last year, according to the auditor-general, "due to slow purchase action by schools and/or signing of their funding arrangement with" the department.

While Frost commended the department on its corporate and school-based ICT strategy, he said the computer scheme in Victoria was not consistent with its wider asset strategy.

The department had not appropriated the funding required to replace laptops on a regular basis and was unable to "demonstrate continuity of planning" or provide information as to how it was continuing to be proactive with the scheme, the audit found.

Some 32,000 devices each year needed to be replaced to keep up with the department's standard four-year replacement scheme. But the $7 million of funding offered annually to support the program meant only 8750 new devices could be purchased each year.

"There is little evidence of coordinated or deliberate departmental activity or planning to address this looming challenge," the acting auditor-general said in his report.

"The department has not adequately explored alternative funding options, nor assessed other possible contingency scenarios to replace the obsolete fleet."

The audit claimed obsolescence had already begun in schools, with a February audit showing more than ten percent of all school devices – largely outside of the Digital Education Revolution scheme – were more than the accepted four years old.

"After more than two years of [computer scheme] funding, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and schools have no plans to replace or refresh these assets," he auditor-general said.

"Future cohorts of secondary students could miss out on access to computers in learning environments.

"Planning tools are inadequate to address this risk, and schools are not universally or effectively applying them ... [it] highlights an emerging disconnect between DEECD's ICT-based learning objectives and the management of student-based ICT assets in government secondary schools."

Frost recommended both the education department and state Treasury reform asset management guidelines across the Victorian Government to more clearly outline ICT governance and ensure infrastructure was not allowed to become obsolete.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Victoria risks obsolete student laptops
 
 
 
Top Stories
Hockey flags billion-dollar Centrelink mainframe replacement
Claims 30 year-old tech is holding Govt back.
 
Ombudsman wants to monitor warrantless metadata access
Requests ability to report publicly.
 
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  12%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1514

Vote