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CPIT Closes Digital Divide With Free Computing

CPIT Closes Digital Divide With Free Computing Classes


Starting this month the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) is launching free weekend classes in computing for people who have little or no computer experience. The classes will allow those who feel isolated by the computer-literate society, a free opportunity to learn how to use the Internet and MS Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Access.

The free weekend classes are perfect for people who want to learn how to use computers but have neither the time during the week, nor the funds available to pay for tuition fees. They may want to improve their career prospects, or master new areas, or simply learn how to communicate by email with their children and grandchildren.

“By introducing classes in the weekend and using capacity that was not well used before, we have been able to cut fees for certain computing classes to zero,” says Dr David Weir, Head of the School of Computing at CPIT.

Similar courses are being run at UCOL in Palmerston North, Otago Polytechnic and Manukau Institute of Technology, and all are proving extremely popular. CPIT therefore anticipates a huge demand for the classes and advises students to book early in order to secure their place for each class. Any New Zealand citizen or permanent resident aged 16 years or older can apply for the Computing for Free classes.

Once enrolled students can reserve places on one of the seven 2 hour sessions available throughout the weekend. Up to 58 computers will be made available for each 2-hour session. Tutors will be on hand at all times to help students learn at their own pace.

At the same time, CPIT is also launching free diploma-level weekend computer courses for high school students interested in information technology. “We’ve started using a two pronged approach, with something for beginning and entry level students and something for high school students who are not able to study computing at Bursary level,” continued Dr Weir.

“Beginning on 21st and 22nd April, high school students will have a choice of studying up to nine subjects from the Diploma in Business Computing course. If they chose to pass all nine subjects, they would achieve 50% of the first year of the DipBC and entry into the Bachelor of Business Computing programme.”

“This course will be very attractive for aspiring students who are interested in IT and want a challenge that is not currently being met at 7th Form level,” said Dr Weir.

CPIT encourages flexible learning and provides a choice of pathways for students to achieve nationally recognized qualifications in computing. Courses range from the National Certificate in Computing up to the Bachelor of Business Computing Degree and Graduate Diploma in e-Commerce.

All CPIT computing students who complete a selection of 6 Dip BC papers can apply for the complete qualification certified by the National Advisory Committee on Computing qualifications, called the PC Driver’s License.

Lists of courses are on the CPIT website at: www.cpit.ac.nz/schcomputing

- Ends -

About CPIT School of Computing
The School of Computing at CPIT was established to bring together a strong emphasis of teaching and learning across the broad range of topics in computing. CPIT has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading centers of business computing and has been providing key education and training at all levels in the computing field for 30 years.

Over 2,000 students enroll in a variety of full-time and part-time courses each year ranging from assessed open entry courses through to Certificate, Diploma and Degree programmes. All course material is developed in consultation with industry to ensure that CPIT graduates join the workforce with skills relevant to the real world.

For further information please contact:
Dr David Weir
Head of the School of Computing at CPIT
Phone : +64 3 364 9039 extn 8324
Fax : +64 3 364 9648
Mobile : 025 930 969
Email: weird@cpit.ac.nz
www.cpit.ac.nz/schcomputing

or

Shelley Grell
PR Director
Communicate IT Ltd
Tel : 03 314 4606
Mobile : 025 260 2635
Email : shelley@communicateit.co.nz

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