Story & Photo by Kirsty Saxon, 28 September 2015
This week sixty new Computers in Homes graduates gathered at the Te Ahu Centre for their graduation ceremony. The students have just completed their twenty hours of free computer training at the Te Ahu Centre under the fantastic guidance of Debbie Cloete. Far North REAP Chief Executive Ian Swindells, Far North 2020 Trustee Adele Gardner, along with supportive whanau and friends attended the ceremony to celebrate the graduates’ achievements. Adele was a guest speaker on the night and shared a fantastic Computer in Homes success story, explaining how she had recently met a former Computers in Home student who was now studying online for her teaching degree.
Far North Computers in Homes Coordinator, Emma Tracey, congratulated the students on completing their course and setting a great example for our next generation. “You’ve shown your tamariki it’s never too late to learn. This might be the first step on your learning journey! Some of our other graduates have gone on to run their own businesses and to begin studying for new careers.”
Each graduate received a refurbished desktop computer, new speakers, mouse and a keyboard to get them started on their online journey. They are also entitled to a 1 years subsidised Naked Broadband connection and 1 year’s free technical support. Families say the Computers in Homes programme helps to build valuable computer and online skills, help family members find work and give adults new confidence in learning.
Students now receive 12 months of ongoing technical support from capable technician Brett Hunter. They have also been offered ongoing computer training through the Stepping Up programme. This is a free programme available to anyone, and lets students choose the areas that they wish to learn about. It is run at Kaitaia Library and Kerikeri Proctor Library.
Simone Edwards from REAP was also on hand to inform graduates about the new KiwiSkills course which will soon be available in Kaitaia. KiwiSkills computer training is free to any New Zealand resident over the age of 16 who is unemployed and looking for work. KiwiSkills students learn how to use computers and the internet with confidence, and gain an internationally recognised certificate (ICDL – International Computer Driving Licence). ICDL modules available through KiwiSkills use the same high quality materials and standards as regular ICDL training.
Emma Tracey, says “This term was awesome because it was our biggest cohort to date! We ran Computers in Home courses at Te Kura Taumata Panguru, Te Kura o Hata Maria, Paihia School and Te Ahu Centre Kaitaia with 100 families all together. We are planning to do another group at Kerikeri Primary School in Term 4. After that we are awaiting further funding from the Ministry of Education when the budget is announced in May next year.”