Education Minister, Hekia Parata, today announced that the Ministry of Education is seeking a network services provider for the Network for Learning, an online network that will enable improved access to education resources for learners.

Suppliers are being asked to present innovative proposals to deliver network services such as internet access, firewalling, filtering and network helpdesk services.

Ms Parata says that the Government wants to ensure the Network for Learning can deliver a cost-effective solution for schools.

“As well as substantially reducing ICT cost and complexity for schools, the Network will support greater collaboration and sharing of resources between learners, teachers, school leaders and communities around the country,” says Ms Parata.

“The Network for Learning will provide kura and schools with a range of core services and online content to enable 21st century education delivery to improve outcomes for learners.”

Suppliers are asked to respond to the request for proposals by late June 2012. A contract is expected to be awarded by the end of 2012 which means that the Ministry is on track to have the Network for Learning progressively available to schools from mid-2013 onwards.

Ms Parata also announced that over the next few months a new Crown-owned company will be established to run the Network for Learning.