Wairarapa Teen Parent Unit

Achieving educational goals made easier with technology and easy access to information and opportunities.

Wairarapa Teen Parent Unit is responsible for 25 young mums from the Wairarapa region each year who are working hard to reach their educational goals. The Unit has been operating since 2002 and is attached to Makoura College who act as the host school.

Three support staff, five trained teachers and a teacher aide staff the Unit. The building was purpose built ten years ago and is attached to the Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre, which cares for students’ children as they study during the day.

Students each work on individual programmes studying subjects that match their career goals and future aspirations. For this reason, no two students are studying the same programme and teachers in this environment are flexible multi-taskers, teaching not only to their subject strengths but a host of other subjects to meet the girls’ needs. External providers such as Te Kura (formerly known as the Correspondence School) and other providers such as WelTech and Open Polytechnic compliment the students’ learning.

These providers are moving to an online model, and it is for this reason that the grant from the Trust House Foundation was sought in 2015 to issue each student with a new laptop computer. This means that students can source information readily, submit work quickly for assessment and have 21st century tools at their fingertips.

The laptops have proven to be useful in the career and transition programme too, as students can access sites such as Career NZ to build their individual profiles around careers goals and investigate career pathways. The laptops are also helping to support the girls’ role as parents. The Early Childhood Centre is trialling an online portfolio for the children, so now each student is set up with an email address and they can communicate quickly and readily with this technology.

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