Stu­dio 274 shut down

Manukau Courier - - FRONT PAGE - KYMBERLEE FER­NAN­DES

Youth in South Auck­land have lost a learn­ing hub for tech­nol­ogy after a fund­ing cut.

Stu­dio 274, run by High Tech Youth Net­work (HTYN) in Otara has been shut down after years of help­ing stu­dents prepare ca­reers in IT.

But ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, an eval­u­a­tion found that the pro­gramme was not in line with gov­ern­ment ob­jec­tives for learn­ing.

Act­ing head of early learn­ing and stu­dent achieve­ment Pauline Cleaver says in March a new eval­u­a­tion of the pro­gramme was

re­quested.

‘‘We de­cided not to be in­volved be­cause we were sat­is­fied [with] the Martin Jenk­ins eval­u­a­tion,’’ she says.

The Martin Jenk­ins review found the pro­gramme wasn’t clear about how it re­lated to gov­ern­ment ob­jec­tives for learn­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and the ICT sec­tor, and it lacked mon­i­tor­ing and evalu- ation in­for­ma­tion.

Mike Us­mar, chief ex­ec­u­tive of HTYN char­ity, says the min­istry is ‘‘too reck­less as part­ners when deal­ing with at-risk youth’’.

He says HTYN com­mis­sioned five in­de­pen­dent eval­u­a­tions, which showed the work they were do­ing was ef­fec­tive.

Fund­ing for the pro­gramme was sup­ported un­til June 2016. In Au­gust 2016, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced the launch of a $1m fund for projects to strengthen dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies in schools.

‘‘The HTYN were able to ap­ply for fur­ther fund­ing from this fund. They chose not to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion,’’ Cleaver says.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Nikki Kaye says de­ci­sions are made ‘‘based on the merit, and where fund­ing is avail­able’’.

‘‘HTYN may be in­ter­ested in the Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­ogy for All Eq­uity Fund which will pro­vide fund­ing for in-school and out-of­school dig­i­tal learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for up to 12,500 stu­dents per year,’’ she says.

Us­mar has also filed a com­plaint with the Om­buds­man against min­istry of­fi­cials for not tak­ing the other eval­u­a­tions into con­sid­er­a­tion.

The Stu­dio 274 build­ing is up for sale and the money will be rein­vested in work in Otara. SOLD by San­deep Sund $525,000

Sit­ting on a 1/2 share of 1133sqm, three 3 bed­rooms, 1 bath­room and open plan kitchen.

Got a story? Email edmc@snl.co.nz

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