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Māngere families graduate from Computers in Homes

Community benefits as Māngere families graduate from Computers in Homes

However 100,000 Kiwi families with school-aged children are still waiting for access to ICT for their education...

Fourteen local Māngere families will graduate from the national Computers in Homes programme today in a graduation ceremony held at Jean Batten School and attended by Mayor Len Brown and Richard Hackett from local funder CA.

Through Computers in Homes, Rorohiko I roto ngā Kāinga, these families have been provided with computers and internet access along with training, skills and support to use these technologies.

The programme aims to bring computer and internet technologies within reach of all New Zealand families with school-aged children and allows parents and grandparents to connect and be more involved with their children’s learning.

Computers in Homes estimates more than 100,000 New Zealand families with school-aged children in low income communities still don’t have a computer and internet access at home. Jean Batten School is celebrating the achievements of families in their community who now have the skills and equipment to go online and participate in the digital world.

A representative from the national Computers in Homes team is joining the celebrations in Māngere today to raise awareness of the programme and to encourage Government and business to scale-up their support.

“We are encouraged by the level of support from CA in funding the programme at Jean Batten School. We do hope that local celebrations such as the one here today in Māngere will encourage the Government and businesses to further expand their funding support. Computers in Homes provides a vehicle for practical educational opportunities while also addressing ICT access issues in this country. It’s a proven programme that now just requires funds to scale it up,” said Computers in Homes’ National Coordinator, Di Das.

Ms Das says New Zealand’s 2006 Census results reinforce the need for funding and support to establish and develop Computers in Homes into a national programme and policy.

“40% of households with school-aged children are without access to the Internet at home in Manukau City according to the 2006 Census. This compares to North Shore City, which has only 13% of households without internet access,” Ms Das says.

“Manukau City ranks 64th for internet access out of 73 districts in New Zealand. Computers in Homes has helped to connect these families here today but there are many more here and across the country who are waiting to be included.”

The programme started in 2000 and has already supported more than 4,000 New Zealand families by providing them with recycled computers, six months of free internet access, computer training and technical support, via their local schools.

Parents receive 20 hours of basic computer training including word processing, emailing and using the Internet, conducted at their children’s school or a local community hub.

The training is aimed at empowering parents to become actively involved in their children’s learning, as well as increasing their own employment opportunities and confidence. Results from the programme have included employment success and continued education. Ms Das says the programme has also seen a number of parents actively engaging with their school for the first time.

“We receive numerous emails of thanks from participants in the programme. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity for families who participate.”

Computers in Homes is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust with support from the Ministry of Education and the Community Partnership Fund. The 2020 Trust is looking for funding and support to expand Computers in Homes to all low income communities where children do not have access to computers and the Internet in their homes.

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