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Library aims to keep South Learning Centre open

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29 May 2007

Child at South Learning Centre

It’s business as usual this week at Christchurch City Libraries’ South Learning Centre, despite a funding shortfall which could affect its future operation. The Ministry of Education, which helped pay for the Centre to set up in 2003, has announced that it is unable to provide further funding at this stage. As a result, the Council is reviewing options for the continuation of the Learning Centre.

Based at South Christchurch Library, the Centre provides leading edge technology and innovative learning opportunities for 23 schools in South Christchurch and the wider community. The Centre reflects the Council’s vision of making the city a global economic destination through supporting emerging technologies and learning, and attracting investment in creative, knowledge-based industries.

Mayor Garry Moore says the Centre has brought technology into the heart of local communities, making it part of everyday life for school students. “Student motivation and engagement in learning has been enhanced by the experience and parents have been able to join in sessions and learn alongside their children.

“Not only is South Learning Centre held up as an example of education excellence and innovation in this country but it is recognised internationally. It is one of this country’s flagships for digital development.”

Christchurch City Council had requested an on-going financial commitment from Government for the next five years of $205,000 annually or $20 per student per annum. Without the extra money, the Council may not be able to afford to keep the Learning Centre open.

Libraries’ Manager Carolyn Robertson says the Council is committed to exhausting every option to keep the Centre open, and welcomes ideas and suggestions from the community. “South Learning Centre is an asset that the city can be truly proud of, and we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure that continues.”