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State schools used branding ads to get corporate funding

 

Justin Vallejo

The Courier-Mail

August 11, 2008

 

What was once just the library at Cromer Public School is now The Panasonic Learning Common, complete with distinctive signage and product placement.

Students at Killara High meanwhile could soon be studying in a Microsoft Technology Centre or Oracle Science Lab, with the school seeking $18 million worth of private investment to cover government funding shortfalls.

The two schools are being used as templates for private sponsorship across the state being considered by both corporate Australia and the Department of Education.

Parents and school communities have welcomed the private investment as a way of giving students the best technology and learning resources otherwise not available.

Opposition education spokesman Andrew Stoner said they must tread carefully as there was a danger of going too far.

"The Iemma Government has to meet its obligations to fund public schools or we are going to see unacceptable levels of corporate intrusion into our schools as seen in America," Mr Stoner said.

The facility at Cromer Public School brought together Panasonic engineers and teachers over the past eight months to develop an interactive white board.

This will become the company's flagship model to be marketed throughout schools across the world. In return, the five-year deal has given the school library $100,000 of Panasonic product.

Killara High School P&C is trying to raise $18 million worth of private investment to fund upgrades including a new science and technology building to replace 14 demountable classrooms.

The school is working with the Education Department to see which ideas can be used and expanded to other schools throughout the state.

"The department has set up an infrastructure working party, including the school principal and members of the school community to develop a four-year master plan for the school and to explore the community's ideas," a departmental spokesman said.

 

 

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