Subsidised schools could share a HK$90 million grant to set up Wi-fi and purchase tablet computers as part of the Education Bureau's latest proposed strategy on the use of information technology in classrooms.
The one-off grant to about 900 subsidised primary and secondary schools would also encourage principals to replace in-house IT technicians with subscriptions to telecommunications service providers - which would then set up and maintain Wi-fi infrastructure on campus and provide services such as cloud computing by the 2015-16 school year.
"The service outsourcing - which is now done by in-house technicians - would provide schools with a more advanced and stabilised service," said She Mang, chief curriculum development officer (information technology in education).
One educator said the plan might not provide sufficient money to pay for ongoing subscriptions to Wi-fi services and other recurring expenses, including maintenance of IT devices.
James Lam Yat-fung, chairman of the subsidised secondary schools council, said that on top of the HK$90 million grant, "each school would get only about HK$70,000 [per year] on average to pay for all bills for such services".
He added: "It's not certain whether the additional funding would be enough to cover Wi-fi expenses in all schools."
He also doubted if such subscriptions could help schools save on technicians' wages. "They still have computer rooms and other IT devices that need someone to maintain them."
The bureau rolled out its latest strategy - the fourth on IT in education since 1998 - for consultation yesterday.
Other ideas include improving the quality of e-learning resources and adding programming-related elements to the IT curriculum.
Members of the public have until July 6 to express their views to the bureau.