Pasifika switch on to internet

Members of the Marlborough Pasifika community without access to the internet took their first class on getting digitally savvy at Bohally Intermediate School in Blenheim on Monday night.

The classes are being run by Bohally Intermediate's information centre manager Cathy-Ann Scoon, through the nationwide Computers in Homes programme, which was established in 2000 to raise the literacy level of children from low-decile schools. It has since been extended to promote learning and digital knowledge for other members of the community.

Computers in Homes national co-ordinator Di Daniels said that 25 Pasifika families in Marlborough were enlisted in the programme.

Those who took the course benefited from improved literacy and achievement levels, Ms Daniels said.

"It's about providing the opportunity and raising achievement levels for under-privileged members of the community," she said.

The programme provided families with a computer package worth about $4000 including a recycled computer and 12 months' subsidised internet access, training and technical support.

Either one parent/caregiver or both from each family had committed to attending the 10-week course once a week for two hours during the day or night.

People had been encouraged to sign up for the programme during an information evening at the school in November.

The Marlborough Express