PB Tech device donation empowers Afghani refugees with online learning opportunities

June 28th, 2023

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Embracing the transformative power of technology, PB Tech and Tamaki College, a decile 1A co-educational state secondary school in the east Auckland suburb of Glen Innes, have recently embarked on a remarkable initiative to support the education and upskilling of Afghani refugee students and several adult students learning English.

Tamaki College has received 100 computers from PB Tech and the Ministry of Education, bundled with monitors donated by ACC, creating a comprehensive learning package.

This package includes the necessary hardware and the support of PB Tech and Tamaki College's eSports students, known as the Future Tech Ninjas.

“We have a growing Afghani community enrol at our Kura and PB Tech's generous donation of devices for repurposing has been a massive help,” says Tamaki College Deputy Principal Russel Dunn.

Opening doors to online learning

This dynamic partnership has sparked a transformative initiative, providing these resilient students with a life-changing opportunity to access online learning from their homes.

Among these students are three young brothers, Fawad, Jameel and Jawid, aged 16, 18, and 20, who arrived in New Zealand a mere few months ago.

With open hearts and the immense support of these donations, their newfound love for the country grows stronger by the day.

“Grateful for the opportunity to use these computers at home, as they enhance our studies and enable us to teach English to our family members,” disclosed Fawad.

The Ministry of Education reveals that approximately 1500 refugees are welcomed annually through the United Nations' quota programme.

Midst the schools dedicated to providing support and a nurturing environment, Tamaki College stands strong, extending a helping hand to refugees as they get on their journey towards building a new life.

The commitment to empowering students extends beyond refugees, reaching out to people from diverse nationalities who seek a fresh start in New Zealand.

“With the help of our students, we aim to expand our support to people from various backgrounds. The donations also benefit adult learners studying English through a community provider,” reinforces Dunn. 

Jameel and Jawid embrace home learning with new devices.
Donated devices have been repurposed to support students' educational needs.
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Upskilling through eSports

The donations offer an additional benefit by nourishing the integration of eSports students from Tamaki College, introducing a distinctive and innovative element to the initiative.

These talented students have assumed the task of installing the new Chrome Operating System Flex on the donated desktops.

By utilising their skills and passion for gaming, they are enabling their refugee peers to access online learning resources effectively.

This remarkable synergy between gaming and education is breaking new ground and showcasing the untapped potential of eSports and technology in promoting positive social change.

“During the pandemic, we initiated an eSports programme in response to the inability to participate in traditional sports activities. I had the opportunity to teach how to set up the ChromeOS Flex on the computers, providing them with a fresh perspective on technology,” stated Tamaki College eSports teacher Alejandro Cunard.

Building upon this foundation, the tutor extended the efforts to assist refugee students and others in need of computers for their homes.

“Our primary objective is to foster a team environment where each member has assigned tasks, all working towards a shared goal. This collaborative approach ensures that everyone contributes, promoting a sense of unity and achievement,” said Cunard.

Donated devices from PB Tech have been bundled up, creating a resourceful arsenal for eSports students.
eSports classes empower students to harness their skills and channel their passion for gaming into valuable learning experiences.

Expanding the donations programme

This initiative is part of PB Tech's ongoing donations programme for schools, which includes Tamaki College as one of its five participant schools.

Since the inception of the campaign, PB Tech has already donated over 450 PC desktops and laptops, empowering students with more devices for learning.

By utilising the old devices and hardware, schools can bundle them up, further enhancing the learning experience for their students.

PB Tech Head of Education Stan Fosenbauer is resolute in his mission to reduce the digital divide through the programme. "We want to expand this initiative and have two more schools before the end of 2023.”

PB Tech Education is reaching out to government agencies to highlight the importance of providing devices and get more schools involved in this process.

By doing so, PB Tech hopes to demonstrate to students the potential for computer repair, ignite their interest in IT, and open up a world of opportunities and career pathways in the field.

This initiative not only showcases the power of technology in supporting marginalised communities but also exemplifies the commitment of both PB Tech and Tamaki College to creating a brighter future for all students.

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