Learning centre connects families

Last updated 12:00 30/12/2013

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A computers-in-homes scheme in Horowhenua has blossomed into an adult education centre aimed at getting families learning together.

Foxton Primary School and Land Based Training are teaming up to open a whanau literacy centre in the school's library in the new year.

The centre will be able to provide courses or one-on-one tutoring in topics including literacy, numeracy and computer skills, personal and family development, CV writing, careers advice, financial literacy and budgeting tips.

Land Based Training workplace tutor Debbie Neilson said the centres have been set up in nearby cities, including Whanganui and Palmerston North, and have had positive results.

Each learner is funded 100 hours through the education provider, then tested on their progression and abilities at the end.

"It's about them increasing their literacy and numeracy skills, so in turn they can help their children too," Neilson said.

"Quite often what parents struggle with is, if they've had a bad experience at school themselves, coming back into school to help - it's quite scary."

Earlier this month, 18 Foxton families graduated from the national Computers in Home programme, which aims to have the technology within reach of all New Zealand families with school-aged kids.

Foxton Primary School, which helped run the initiative, set up a computer suite in the staff room for parents to complete their 20 hours' study over eight weeks.

Principal Tina McLean said the whanau literacy centre was the next step on from the scheme.

The centre is a chance to break down barriers around some parents' apprehensions about returning to school to help their children, McLean said

It will help the community connect and learn together, she said.

The Timutimu family, from Foxton, were among the handful of families to sign up for the scheme and who now have plans to use the whanau literacy centre.

Nikora and his wife Vanessa both said the benefits from the computers in homes programme have helped their learning and they want to extend their education more.

"I have plans to do some correspondence study next year, because I want to be a social worker, and hopefully this will help create that opportunity for me," Timutimu said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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