One of the great challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed is the stark educational inequality that exists between the children of rich and poor. In May 2020, a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that whereas children of wealthier backgrounds spent 5.8 hours a day on educational activities, their peers in the poorest fifth household spent only 4.5 (the report can be found here:https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/14848).
As the son of working-class parents in a deprived area, I believe that one of the reasons for this decline in educational engagement is because of a lack of accessibility. Before lock down, I was able to frequently visit my local library for access to reading materials that could assist my school work. However, as lock down closed public places, the only way I could get access to great literature was through buying books online or subscribing to a site on a monthly basis (a difficulty for me and my family financially). I know that my experience of not having access to wider reading material pertaining to my studies has been shared by my fellow students too.
Thus, there should be an effort to provide access to wider reading material and I believe that effort should involve the creation of a free online library of articles and books (as discussed in response to question 2.a).
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