Telford, 01/02/2021 – What do nFocus, the BBC and England rugby player, Maro Itoje have in common? They are all aware of the digital divide and are trying to make a difference.
Many of us in the IT sector have been well placed to enable employees to work from home. The technology has been provided for us to communicate with colleagues and clients via Teams or Zoom. However, the pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the difficulties children from disadvantaged backgrounds are experiencing in accessing online materials set by schools because they do not have devices or internet connection required to take part in remote learning.
A survey carried out in April 2020 by the UCL Institute for Education found that “one in five of those eligible for free school meals had no access to a computer at home”. With the Covid-19 pandemic, schools and libraries have been closed, all children are experiencing disruption to their education but those from disadvantaged backgrounds are suffering disproportionately. The BBC is supporting an initiative to make it easy for companies to donate unwanted devices that can be given to charities who prepare the laptops and link with schools in your area to distribute to the families in need. The ‘Make a Difference’ Scheme can be found at BBC website.
The England Rugby player Maro Itoje is also keen to raise awareness of the digital divide and is talking to the Government about ways in which this problem can be resolved. Digital exclusion is ultimately a feature of poverty and this initiative will ease financial strain on low income families.
nFocus felt that this initiative was something the company could be involved with and Co-Founder, Ross Lister set about wiping and resetting the hard drives of five laptops that were surplus to the company. This was a simple process of cleaning data from the hard drives, fitting new ones and arranging a delivery to a school who needs them, in our case Lawley Village Academy.
If you have devices you’d like to donate, go to the BBC website for more information.