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Telecom Foundation supports digital teaching pilot

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Telecom Foundation has announced today additional funding to accelerate the rollout of the Manaiakalani programme to other low income communities, initially through pilot activity. This further supports its existing $1 million partnership with the Manaiakalani Education Trust, and the programme of digital teaching.

The Telecom Foundation is now in its second year of partnership with the Manaiakalani Education Trust, supporting the programme of digital teaching and learning among low income communities to assist in delivering better educational outcomes for Kiwi kids. The programme currently incorporates a cluster of twelve schools in the Tamaki region, in Auckland.

As a result of the Telecom Foundation’s investment, the Manaiakalani Education Trust will employ additional professional development facilitator resources for nine months to enable work with schools across the country in support of transformed learning and adoption of the digital teaching and learning methods established in Tamaki.

In addition to this professional development resource, the Telecom Foundation is in active discussions with the Manaiakalani Education Trust around significant additional funding investment with a view to extending the Manaiakalani programme and teaching methods to other school clusters around the country with particular focus on lower decile communities.

Sir Bob Harvey, Chair of the Telecom Foundation, says: "The Manaiakalani programme captivated us from our first introduction to the approach. We’re thrilled to be able to support the beginnings of its extension. We’ve made a long term commitment to this initiative and can see the potential for other communities, and indeed our country, by the Telecom Foundation acting as a catalyst for improving education outcomes and in doing so reducing the digital divide."

Since the Telecom Foundation became involved with the Manaiakalani programme these teaching practices, used throughout all classrooms in the Manaiakalani cluster, have continued to attract increased attention from educators nationally and internationally. Earlier this year the work of Manaiakalani caught the attention of international artist Will.I.Am, resulting in a donation of $100,000 to the continued development of the programme.

Over the past seven years, the Manaiakalani Programme has transformed teaching and learning methods across participating schools. Students have a netbook computer of their own from Year 5, paid for by their parents in modest instalments determined through community consultation.

Pat Snedden, Chair of the Manaiakalani Education Trust, says: "In Tamaki we have seen the Manaiakalani Programme become an inside-out transformation of a community. These children and their families are developing the digital DNA required for success in the 21st century workforce and society."

"We knew from the beginning that our partnership with the Telecom Foundation had the potential to extend our programme to other communities. The support and trust the Telecom Foundation has shown us is enormous. This additional commitment has given us more confidence to talk to the marketplace and formally commence our plans for piloting the programme in several new communities in early 2014."

Test results over recent years are showing that children on the Manaiakalani Programme are raising their educational performance at a significantly faster rate when compared with schools using more conventional teaching methods.

Sir Bob says, "A key focus of our investment continues to be the research programme. We know in our hearts this programme is working, and also understand the value of formal measurement to evaluate the programme and help drive ongoing improvement, as well as being hugely valuable information to assist us in communicating the learnings to date to new communities, to support them to make a successful start quickly."

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