One of the earliest graduating families from Nelson 2006 has been featured in both the Christchurch Press and Nelson Mail newspapers for the success of their son Lal Cinzah who recently graduated with a Civil Engineering Honours Degree from Canterbury University. Lal is the success story in our latest Computers in Homes Half Year Report.
“The first Nelson Refugee Computers in Homes ran in 2006-07 and included the Cinzah family from the Chin Hakha state of Burma Myanmar. Lal Cinzah was just beginning secondary school when his family arrived in Nelson from the Chin state, where his parents had been teachers. The Computers in Homes programme had been extended to newly-arrived refugee families in 2004, with preference given to families with teenage children as these needed to be embraced into NZ education as soon as possible before they reached leaving age. It had been found that if effective education was not grasped by teens in this short window of time that they were leaving school with few employment prospects and little hope of a tertiary education. Lal’s parents participated in that first intake and welcomed the opportunity to learn about the NZ education system and to be involved in Lal’s and his 3 siblings’ learning. Lal worked hard at school gaining many awards, and although he was already fluent in Chin and Burmese languages, he said his challenge was getting his English to a level that would take him to University. He found the NZ education system very different from in Burma where the teachers would hand out material to memorise rather than help students to understand. He preferred now being able to solve problems and became interested in Engineering after excelling in science and maths. Since graduating from Computers in Homes, Lal’s Dad, Bual Cung (2nd from right in rear of photo) has helped with secondary maths for several years and Mum Sui Ting was a primary teacher but has worked with the Burmese communities for refugee services for many years. They are very proud of Lal and say the whole community celebrates his success too. Lal now works for Fulton Hogan in Nelson and helps with the Chin youth group as he is keen to give encouragement to those younger than himself to succeed as he has done.”