Hawaii’s New Assistance Program: ‘Ohana Help Desk


‘Ohana Help Desk logo courtesy of the Hawaii Dept. of Education 2020.

Kai Kast, Student Life

On Aug. 4, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) launched a state-wide program called the ‘Ohana Help Desk for public-school students and their families who need technical assistance to ensure the best possible online learning experience. 

With the help of Hawaiian Telcom, the state was able to start the ‘Ohana Help Desk program. They offer support with connectivity, devices, application, and video conferencing. 

Agents at the help desk are available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. On Saturdays and state holidays, the help desk is closed. 

While some school districts in Hawaii already have tech assistance programs for families, the ‘Ohana Help desk is statewide and is more comprehensive, with an overall higher level of technological support, due to higher funds, HIDOE said.

 The program has chat support, an online portal, and even multi-language phone support in English, Hawaiian, Tagalog, Chuukese, Ilokano, and Marshallese. 

“Assisting families in their preferred language will ensure that all students can successfully connect with classrooms and virtual lessons,” Superintendent Kishi said.

“The ʻOhana Help Desk will be a tremendous resource for our parents and students who will be distance learning this school year to help resolve technical issues that may arise when students connect to the HIDOE network remotely using a variety of devices,” Hawaii Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto stated. “We already provide a help desk service for our employees, and this is an extension of that effort.” 

More info about the ‘Ohana Help Desk is available at ohanahelpdesk.org. Their chat support is chat.ohanahelpdesk.org and their phone number is 643-DESK (3375).