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Access To IT To Create Opportunities For Porirua

Access To IT To Creating Opportunities For Porirua Youth

We need to give our young people access to computers and technology so they can compete in the modern economy, says Jim Anderton.

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton and Graham Kelly MP today visited Aotea College to talk about a local community package to assist Porirua schools and families.

The $1 million programme headed by a local trust, E-Learning Porirua (the Porirua City Community IT Education Trust), will see computers going into 24 Porirua schools and some homes. Graham Kelly MP is a trustee.

Today Jim Anderton was able to tell the trustees that it was another step closer to its goal of putting 1000 high quality computers into 24 low decile schools thanks to a grant of $60,000 from a new regional development fund.

These computers as well as the technical support that goes with them will assist young people and their families. While improved literacy and technical expertise are the immediate goals, the aim is to assist students to achieve at school and in further education, so they can get quality high paying jobs.

Whitireia Polytechnic, the Porirua City Council and sponsors are involved to support the schools and families to make the most of the opportunities this project will give them.

There will be specialist teaching between schools through video conferencing; low cost internet access and ongoing teacher training through Whitireia Polytechnic, with the help and mentoring of community organisations.

“Government has a role to assist this community where many young people cannot get access to computers. Here in Porirua under 25 per cent of homes have computers compared to other communities where the figure is as high as 80 per cent.

“Perhaps one of the most exciting features of this project is the energy and commitment the whole community has brought to it. This is a real partnership with support from educational institutions, the business community, community groups, and local and central government,” said Jim Anderton.

Note to Editors: The Regional Initiatives Fund was established as part of the 2001 Budget Economic Development Package. Funding is available to regional development projects which are consistent with the Government’s key goals and which have the potential to leverage economic growth as well as meet government objectives for economic, social and environmental development. The fund is aimed at assisting regions to develop capability and to respond to opportunities. Eligible projects must show broad support within the region. Funding is available as a contribution towards the project’s costs and is assessed on a case by case basis.


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