It is generally accepted that the children who have access to on-line and or, in particular computers during the pandemic, have had a better educational experience that those who have not. Those who have not had good connection (wifi) or a machine to themselves to work on have therefore been dis-advantaged and unfortunately this has tended to be the most deprived in our society.
My question is therefore,…
How can the Government ensure universal (in GB) access to a good connection (wifi) and individual (not shared for a whole family) equipment for all school aged, to prevent the educational disadvantage which has been highlighted through the pandemic for any family (children) whose education has suffered as a result of lack of good connection and or suitable computing equipment?
The Government did ask the schools how many pupils / students required laptops. The Gov then placed a duty on schools to provide students with an education. The schools organised on-line learning in expectation of this provision. The Gov then provided (I believe about 1/5) of the computers ordered by the schools. Thus some computers were given to disadvantaged families rather than individual children and equality of educational provision was based on access to connection and equipment. Sharing is better that no machine, but if sufficiently able, as in my case I needed to buy my boys a machine because our house computer was so old it could not come with MS Teams or other modern programming required by the schools for children’s education. Not every family can afford to find the ¬£700 I had to, to ensure my children had the ability to continue with their education.
NB some of the computers supplied to children by the Gov, contained Malware !