Since November 2011 Victory School has graduated 30 Refugee families and 38 Kiwi families through the Computers in Homes programme (CIH), which is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust and has been running since the year 2000. So far nearly 12,000 families have benefited nationally, but 2020 Trust estimates another 90,000 families in low decile schools still do not have a computer and internet at home.
On 25 October 2012 the latest group celebrated their graduation with family, friends and staff from the school. Parents receives free training, a refurbished family computer, 12 months subsidized broadband and technical support for a year. The parents pay a contribution to be part of the scheme and must attend 80% of training sessions before the computer goes home. Tutors, technicians and interpreters are sourced from the local community so that the experience is one of joyful learning in a comfortable environment. Training focuses on helping with homework so that parents feel empowered to make a difference to their children’s education and success through their new digital literacy skills. Victory School received a computer suite with data projector and printer for hosting the training, and technician Tim Jackson ensures the families are well set up at home.
Computers in Homes graduates receive a certificate of achievement and free vouchers for Stepping UP training at the school. Stepping UP offers 4 or more modules in specific learning steps and 6 parents graduated last night. Tutors Tania O’Meagher and Deb Blanchard are disappointed more of the families did not take advantage of this opportunity as the classes need a minimum of 6 parents to proceed. “Stepping UP is in danger of closing owing to lack of attendance which is disappointing” says National Coordinator Di Daniels. Any CIH graduates holding vouchers are encouraged to contact Dianne Goodwin at Victory school to enrol in classes on Thursday afternoons or evenings, or pass them back to the school for others to use.
Computers in Homes is funded via Dept Internal Affairs to promote digital literacy for employment and education opportunity for the whole family and Refugee CIH is funded by the Ministry of Education as part of resettlement education. Di Daniels adds “Victory School has been a wonderful host to our digital literacy programmes, and special thanks must go to Dianne Goodwin for her dedication to the families over all the years since the first Refugee CIH intake in 2006.”