|The Graduates from Te Kura Taumata Panguru with their Tamariki, Jill Paaka, Tutor and Emma Tracey, Computers in Homes Regional Coordinator.|
This week eight new Computers in Homes graduates gathered in Panguru for their graduation ceremony. The students have just completed from their twenty hours of free computer training at Te Kura Taumata Panguru under the able tutelage of Jill Paaka. Mayor, John Carter, and Chairperson of the Kaikohe Community Board, Pauline Evans, along with supportive whanau and friends attended the ceremony to celebrate the graduates hard work.
Tutor, Jill Paaka, who was a past principal of Te Kura Taumata Panguru and has a background in adult education, was brought on board to take the course this term. Jill says, “It was good fun! I enjoyed it. There was a diverse age range of parents and grandparents in the group, however I was impressed how quickly they became confident. They were a great bunch of people.”
Course graduates enjoyed a celebration of their achievement, Maryanne Blair was one of them, Maryanne explained how everyone came along and helped each other. Maryanne was excited about finally getting on the internet with her new computer. Another classmate shared her story of how amazed her daughter was her mum sent her first email, “My daughter said it was so cool to get my email in her inbox! I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with my family online.”
Each graduate received a refurbished desktop computer, new speakers 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 years 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.
Far North Regional Course Coordinator, Emma Tracey, congratulated the students on taking a leap and getting involved in learning about something new. “I appreciate how difficult it is to get out of the house, and your commitment to coming to class every Sunday.”
Each student now receives 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.
Emma Tracey, says “We are currently running 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.”
By Kirsty Saxon