The Computers in Homes programme aims to help families in need to use the internet and develop basic computer skills in their everyday lives, which will raise the literacy level of children from low decile schools.
Families are provided with a recycled computer, internet access, training, and technical support. Parents complete 20 hours of training on how to help their children with homework, and pay a small financial contribution before the computer goes home.
As the scheme has developed, parents have also embraced the learning experience for themselves, so the focus has broadened to family literacy. In some regions the steering committees have expanded their vision further to encompass community literacy, and schools report increased school/home communication and more positive interaction between parents and teachers.
The Ministry of Education incorporated Computers in Homes into their education strategy for newly arrived refugees. The additional support of interpreters, family liaison workers, transportation, and babysitting removes barriers to participation. Access to information and the engagement with their children’s schools assists families to adjust to a new country and become part of the wider community.
Any families wanting further training have access to the free Stepping UP programme, which builds ICT skills in a more focused way towards employment readiness and upskilling.
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