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As New Zealand prepared for lockdown, there was much to consider. Groceries needed to be bought, schedules and routines needed to be uprooted and re-planned, and students needed to somehow continue their schoolwork in the midst of this change.
For many students, there’s another hurdle to get over – access to a device. One of the biggest barriers to remote learning, access to a device is essential for students to keep up with coursework and stay connected to their peers.
One particular group of students that The Warehouse Group was concerned about when it came to device access was the students that make up the P-TECH programme. We are proud to partner with IBM and Manukau Institute of Technology on the P-TECH, Pathways in Technology programme – an initiative which brings together industry, high schools and tertiary education partners to equip students with the tech skills they need for the future.
To help facilitate internet connectivity for households who needed it, The Warehouse was able to provide eleven new laptops to schools for students to use from home.
“It was important our P-TECH students could carry on learning during these challenging times and were able to stay connected with their mentors,” said David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer at The Warehouse Group. “The students kicked off term two this week and it was great to see everyone engaged in the programme and that technology wasn’t a barrier.”
Liz Hampton, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility manager at IBM, says the P-TECH partners and mentors quickly moved to wrap support around the students.
“We revamped the P-TECH curriculum for at home learning with a focus on self-management and communication, and now, with the laptops, more P-TECH students can continue their classroom learning online, stay in touch with their mentors and access online learning resources."
Lawrence Naicker, Deputy Principal at Manurewa High School, said, “What these difficult times have emphasised is the digital divide that exists between communities, and why access to online learning is so important. I would like to say a massive thank you to The Warehouse for stepping in at such a critical point and making devices available. We hope we can continue to make a difference in the lives of these students.”
Stuart Kelly, Deputy Principal at Aorere College said, “We are incredibly grateful for the awesome gifting of laptops to our P-TECH students. In many cases, this will not only raise student achievement, but more importantly, student opportunities - both in and out of the classroom.”
The Warehouse Group is the founding industry partner with IBM & Manukau Institute of Technology to launch P-TECH in New Zealand – a global education and workforce preparedness model which is already successfully embedded into a number of countries overseas. The programme aims to prepare young New Zealanders for technology-related careers.