Streatham people donate more than 100 laptops to primary school students to help them learn from home

More than 100 laptops and digital devices have been donated to primary school students to enable them to learn from home while schools are shut.

This comes after worries that disadvantaged students will fall behind in school because they cannot access online materials.

Students at Jubilee, Sunnyhill, Richard Atkins, Holy Trinity and Woodmansterne Primary schools, all in the Streatham area, have received help from the scheme.

Research by Ofcom has estimated that up to 1.78 million children were without a device at the start of the pandemic, alongside a further 880,000 without internet access.

The digital devices have been donated and funded by Streatham residents, and distributed by the Laptops for Learning initiative launched by MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, in partnership with Lambeth Tech Aid.

Ms Ribeiro-Addy MP said: “I’m happy to announce this campaign to get more devices to local schools and support the amazing local work of Lambeth Tech Aid, but also disappointed that the Government is leaving it to people to shoulder so much responsibility during a time of crisis.

“The Government’s insistence that schools stay open at all costs throughout the pandemic has stood in stark contrast with its continued refusal to give schools the basic resources they need to cope with disruption.”

“The next few days will be a pivotal time for children’s education this year, and while we have seen time and again that we can’t rely on this Government, I know we can rely on our community to step up.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Tech Aid said: “We are very honoured to have Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy as Lambeth TechAid’s patron. Together, we are working flat out to supply computers and internet connectivity to school children in their own homes throughout the constituency.

“The need couldn’t be more acute. Every child has the right to a quality education, but today this is no longer possible without a tablet or computer reliably connected to the internet at home.

“Covid has exposed the terrible injustice of the digital divide. Even when schools were open over the past 10 months, many children had to stay at home to protect a medically vulnerable family member.

“Nearly a year into this crisis, we now have a national education emergency. This campaign has the potential to greatly improve the life chances of students who otherwise have no way to continue their schooling.

“Every donation, no matter how big or small, will enable us to bring hope, joy and opportunity to our community’s young generation.”

Pictured top: From left, Cat Smith, Lambeth Tech Aid, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP and Celia Sands, director of South London Refugee Association




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