Participants on the 65th course graduated on Wednesday 9 December and brought the number of families who’ve been trained in the use of a computer and taken a computer home with them to 1,799.
This is getting very close to the 2,000 mark which the next milestone for the hard-working e-Learning Board and committed trainers and technicians.
Chair of the Trust, Graham Kelly, shared the latest statistics that have been produced by Victoria University of Wellington.
‘Since the Trust began’, said Graham, ‘these figures show that, totally against the norm, 63% of the children of e-Learning graduates are achieving at the national average. That’s quite good, you might say, but wait until you hear the next statistic … A further 31% are achieving above the national average and this is incredible news for the people of Porirua. Only 6% of the children are achieving below the national average. Good news indeed. And the Trust wants to continue to work with the families to bring the achievement of all children above the national average'.
Graham went on to thank the course tutors and technicians for their commitment to the families to whom they brought, not only the skills to use their new equipment but also the confidence to go on to secure jobs, or better jobs and work their way up the economic ladder. Clearly the students agreed with Graham when they presented Tim Davies-Colley with a card of thanks.
The certificates both for the course itself and, for most students, for the Stepping Up Programme as well, were presented by Dr Allan Nichols. Allan, formerly CEO of BRANZ in Pauatahanui, had been instrumental in persuading Plimmerton Rotary to help with the work of the Trust when it was first set up. It was thanks to his encouragement and enthusiasm that Rotarian Wendy Betteridge had joined the Board in 2000 and had remained with it ever since.
Jane Reddish, principal of St Pius X Primary School in Titahi Bay joined with Allan to present the certificates. She praised the work of the Trust and said that she would be encouraging parents of the children at her school to apply to attend future courses.
After all the graduates had received their certificates, Graham invited Wendy and one of the tutors, Ibraham Raouf-Morton, to present prizes for the students who had written the best stories about their experiences. There were several prizewinners on this occasion who received Flash Drives for their efforts. The first prize of a Skype Pack (a web camera and headphone with microphone) went to Sheldon Kingi.
With the graduation over, the families gathered together to share a meal before the exciting moment of receiving a computer to take home with them.
With every graduation the Trust gets one step closer to its goal of helping every family in Porirua to learn how to use a computer and have one in their home. The work will continue for some years as statistics show that there are more families without computers than those who have already been trained.