Whangaroa College in Kaeo has set up a digital training academy as an extracurricular activity and already eight students have gained certificates in Microsoft IT management as a result.

The academy is headed by Christian McDonald, who is also the music teacher.

He was formerly an information technology teacher at Avondale College in Auckland and as a result of a conversation with Avondale principal Brent Lewis six months ago, a collaborative IT learning arrangement was born.

Last week Mr McDonald took the first group of students to Avondale College for two days of intensive training.

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As the first from Whangaroa College they were essentially part of a pilot scheme to assess the quality of the tuition in Auckland with a view to bringing the curriculum northwards.

Eight of the 13 students who attended passed the world-recognised Microsoft Word Certificate. Nikita Davis also passed the Microsoft PowerPoint exam.

"At the awards ceremony there was so much pride, excitement and confidence from the students they are ready for the next stage," said Mr McDonald.

He said the purpose of the Whangaroa academy is to identify students who want to become experts in a range of software applications while strengthening overall digital fluency.