Finlayson Park school has set up a computer lab and fund a teacher aide to provide teaching on how to use computers and the Internet for parents. Benefits include improved behaviour and engagement for students as well as a strong partnership with parents.
One of the greatest things we do at our school is provide parents with ICT and by providing parents we are hoping that the parents would influence the children to learn, also teach the children and create a culture of learning and teaching in our school. We’ve set up a second computer lab and we did that by me getting a student from MIT and part of his project was to create a lab so I thought that was a good opportunity. And now the reasons for creating the second lab and teaching the adults ICT is because we’ve taken a study and we’ve found that not many parents have computers at home and if they do have computers they don’t have Internet access. It’s still not within their reach to pay for Internet access. So as a result we’ve started to provide the services for the parents. By having the parents come in during the day we’ve actually created a link between home and school and it’s a very healthy partnership. The students see their parents at school. Their behaviour has actually improved, especially Māori children in our school, their behaviour has tremendously improved [in terms of] because their parents are learning they’re starting to see, hey look, there’s great benefits in learning. Most people think, you know, the only outlet for them is sports but now they realise they have to have something else in addition to sports so school is becoming a fun and important place for them.