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Flaxmere Families Linked into Computers in Homes

25 October 2001 - Embargoed until 2.00pm Media Statement

Flaxmere Families Linked into Acclaimed Computers in Homes Initiative

A highly successful partnership between the Government and the 2020 Trust – Computers in Homes – is being extended today into the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

Over the next two years, it will deliver computers to the homes of 200 families in Flaxmere. It will also provide them with technical support and training along with free access to the Internet for six months.

The partnership is part of a wider programme aimed at helping increase student achievement in the Flaxmere community.

“This is a very practical opportunity for us to introduce computer technology to families with school-aged children in a way that brings significant educational benefits,” said Trevor Mallard.

Last month, Computers in Homes was one of four winning projects in the international Stockholm Challenge. The challenge, a prestigious event attracting hundreds of IT-entrepreneurs, looked for the best modern technology ideas, which could open up better opportunities for families.

Computers in Homes is administered by the 2020 Community Trust with funding from the Government. The recycled computers are mostly donated by government agencies or by businesses. Other areas to benefit from the project have been Porirua, Panmure, Newtown and remote rural parts of the East Coast.

“For the sake of our children’s learning and our future as a society, we must keep up with the fast-moving advances in the use of information and communication technology,” said Trevor Mallard.

“ICT has a big role to play in helping us to improve education in New Zealand. It is already bringing better learning, more effective administration, and stronger partnerships between communities and schools.”

At his visit to Flaxmere, Trevor Mallard took the opportunity to congratulate the suburb’s five schools for their efforts in working closely with the local community - raising the profile of the importance of learning.

“These efforts, along with the Computers in Homes project, are helping to break down the barriers to learning that can prevent some children from reaching their educational potential,” he said.

ENDS

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