After hosting a small launch on the 15th of March to make sure all the whanau involved knew what to expect, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori Pukemiro dove into training on the 26th of March with their whanau in wananga style training. They hosted their training on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. As they had 20 whanau to train, 10 trained on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays. This worked a dream for the school and the whanau involved as they worked around religious and sports commitments. These training sessions were for four hours once a week for five weeks and there was an applaudable attendance record. This shows true commitment, to not only their learning but to their tamariki, who in the end benefit most from this program.
Now from what I have been told these groups of people had a great time learning new skills with their fantastic tutors Rita and Nikki who are staff from TKKM Pukemiro office. I do not find it hard to believe that they had some great laughs along the way! It is great to hear that everyone is really enjoying learning these new skills on the computer as sometimes going back to a learning environment as an adult can be very daunting. The classes held a wide variety of skill levels too from people who were nervous to even touch the keyboard to people who could get onto the internet and look around, this can be a difficult teaching situation but Rita and Nikki managed to make sure all the participants were advancing and the more advanced students were happy to help out the newer users.
The graduation rolled around at incredible speed. This was held on the 4th of May at 6 pm and there was a great turnout. Rita and Nikki had arranged the computers beautifully and I understand the tamariki helped with the decorations. Rita kicked things off and passed things onto the Computers in Homes team. Di Das, the Computers in Homes National Coordinator from Wellington, was in town for the Graduation, she congratulated the whanau on their achievements and pointed out the benefits that will follow for the tamariki.
We also had 2020 Far North ICT Trustees Charmaine Foster and Junior Witehira present and book keeper Joanne Windleborn. Junior Witehira spoke on behalf of the Trust and also as a Board member of the Kura. Sadly Junior announced that he will be moving to Auckland in the near future which is a huge loss to the Kaitaia community, to TKKM Pukemiro and to the 2020 Far North ICT Trust. He will be missed by all of us.
Also, representing the Stepping Up programme which is hosted by Kiwidotcom in Kaitaia we had Fatu, who tutors the Stepping Up programme. He filled us in on the free training that takes place on Tuesday mornings at Kiwidotcom and encouraged all the families to come along if they want to further their skills that they have already learnt. The bit sized pieces of training they provide can be tailored to what the majority of students want to learn. This is a great opportunity for everyone in our community not just the Computers in Homes graduates.
This event was a real celebration of what the families had committed to over Term 1 of 2011 and they all reaped the rewards when they each took home their very own PC with 6 months free internet connection and free technical support from my colleague and computer whizz Brett Hunter.
I would like to end with a big thank you to the Kura, to Rita and Nikki the tutors whose commitment and understanding of the programme were incredible (your awesome) and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the whanau participating. Well done all of you.