As part of the state’s Computers for Teachers Program, Dell Australia has been awarded a $13.4 million contract to provide 14,000 laptop computers to Queensland school and TAFE teachers, to replace ageing stock.
In the past two financial years, the invitation to offer (ITO) to fulfil the annual supply contract has closed in April or May, with contracts awarded at the end of August.
All tenderers must be signatories to Preferred Supplier Arrangement EDPSA-103.1 for the supply of Desktops, Laptops, Printers, Servers and Uninterruptible Power Supply devices.
The Dell contract, signed with the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) specifies that 7,200 units are due to be delivered by 11 November 2011, with the remainder due at the end of May 2012. The maintenance component of the contract goes to 30 August 2014 when these laptops too reach the end of their lifecycle.
Launched in 2006, the Computers for Teachers Program is a $70 million initiative intended to improve learning and communication through the provision of a digital learning environment. Under the scheme, all permanent Queensland school and TAFE teachers who work two days or more a week are eligible to receive laptop computers for professional use.
Laptops are replaced every three years, with a new model chosen for distribution each financial year.
This is the second consecutive year, that Dell has won the contract to supply the laptops. In 2010-11, the nominated model for the phase four roll-out of the program was the Dell Latitude 5140. The contract for this supply was worth $16 million.
For the three years prior to that the nominated models were as follows:
- 2009 - 2010: Hewlett-Packard 6530b and Apple MacBook (MC240X/A);
- 2008 - 2009: Lenovo R400 and Apple MacBook (MB881X/A); and
- 2007 - 2008: Lenovo R61 and Apple MacBook (MB403X/A).
Contract values for the previous laptop supply arrangements are not available on the Queensland e-tendering website.
According to the DET Annual Report, the first stage of the Computer for Teachers Program was completed 10 months ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Computers for Teachers Program is just one of the major ICT initiatives to be rolled-out at the Queensland DET in recent years.
In 2006, the Department commenced work on the OneSchool student management system, which has been designed and built in-house. The system provides teachers access to a central database of student information including behaviour and academic performance. It also has reporting, and asset and finance management functions.
It has also implemented a Managed Operating Environment across all state schools and TAFEs, which has standardised the school computing environment in order to reduce the cost of ICT maintenance and meet sustainability outcomes.
More than 188,000 computers, 489,000 student accounts and 2,700 serves were included in this environment as of June 2010.
The state-funded Computers for Teachers Program is distinct from the National Secondary School Computer Fund, which aims to provide a laptop for every Australian student in years 9 to 12. The latter program in funded by the Federal Government.