The community scheme, initiated by TAKA Trust and Hutt City Council, aims to bridge the digital divide for children from low decile schools to improve student engagement, achievement, and ultimately their goals.
The school’s principal, Dave Appleyard says the school is thrilled that some of the school’s children and their whanau will have free access to the internet at home. “Digital literacy is now a critical part of teaching and learning at school. All of our year 5 and 6 children have access to their own Chrome Book to work on at school. Now they will be able to take these Chrome Books home and continue their learning there. Children are naturally curious and passionate about their work. This scheme will allow them to carry on working and exploring at home,” he says.
“I expect this will have a very positive impact in that they will realise learning can happen anywhere and doesn’t stop at 3pm. While computers don’t replace books and pencils, a lot of work is done on devices and the kids will be able to share their learning with Mum, Dad and the family,” he says.
The partnership between TAKA Trust, Chorus, the Ministry of Education and Crown company Network for Learning (N4L) will trial a wireless solution to extend Chorus’s fibre network into the homes of the Rata Street School students. They will access the Government-funded ‘managed network’ by logging into the school’s computer system which will provide safe access to digital learning for the children and their families.
Te Awa Kairangi Access (TAKA Trust) already provides needed access to transport, sports, technology, arts, free swimming, events and many other life changing opportunities, learning and experiences for the kids that need it the most. The Trust’s vision is for all tamariki in the city’s north eastern suburbs to have equal access to opportunities which others take for granted. The initial Rata Street School scheme will be evaluated in 2019 with further roll out to other schools planned, subject to school and community readiness.
Trust Chairman, Matt Reid paid tribute to the leadership shown by the scheme’s partners, especially Rata Street School, Chorus, N4L and the Ministry of Education. “It’s all about addressing inequality and empowering the tamariki who need it the most. This necessary initiative helps to level the playing field and ensure the fantastic tamariki of Lower Hutt can all benefit from modern learning to enhance their achievement and aspirations. The education system, community and whanau will do the teaching, TAKA Trust will help create access to tools that can make a difference,” he says.
The TAKA Trust has been established with support from Hutt City Council, community leaders and corporate partners including KPMG, Datacom, Tranzit, Hutt Mana Energy Trust, RIDE Holidays and private donors.
The Rata Street School scheme was launched by Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education (and local Rimutaka MP), Hutt City Mayor, Ray Wallace and representatives from the TAKA Trust and sponsors at Rata Street School last Friday (15/6).
Pictured in the photo:
Minister of Education Chris Hipkins popped in to Rata Street school on Friday to launch another Empowering Tamariki initiative-free wifi to the homes of 124 year 5 and 6 pupils. Marking the launch of the scheme, which will begin later this year are, left to right: Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie; Hutt City Council Mayor Ray Wallace; TAKA Trust Board Member Ken Laban; Minister of Education and Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins, N4L Board Director Karen Poutasi; N4L CEO Larrie Moore; N4L COO Will Graham; TAKA Trust’s Joni Araiti, TAKA Trust Chair Matt Reid, Rata Street School Board of Trustee Chair Nic Drew-Crawshaw; and students from Rata Street School.