Digital poverty

All school age children and young people , including LAAC up to the age of 25 should have access to a digital device(other than a mobile phone). This would include paying for access to the internet and a WiFi enable tablet or laptop. This would mean all children within a family not children sharing devices. Schools and local authorities are managing this but there should be a commitment that all local authorities do this and crucially at the end of restrictions these young people can keep these devices. There should be some system of financing internet access akin to financing school meals. This should be centrally funded and given priority. John Swinnney should address the nation about digital poverty and the steps the government is taking to make it equitable for all young people. Is supplying young people with devices being supported nationally by ensuring local authorities are financed to do this ?

Why the contribution is important

I have read that young people in the past have flourished without digital devices and the internet. From stats coming back to schools around 50% are without adequate digital access. 1) the poverty related attainment gap will grow if this digital poverty is not sorted as schools move to digital platforms during and after the pandemic. 2) all young people should have the right to research, interrogate, create and share ideas using the internet. 3) older people are being supported with social interactions via digital technology and young people should have access too- very important for wellbeing. 4) now is the time as parents do not feel ‘shame or embarrassment’ about telling teachers they don’t have digital access and are parents are motivated to upskill and support their children in on line learning . This is a huge opportunity to enhance parental engagement. 5) Digital literacy should come to the forefront at this time through promotion of existing platforms created and used by central government. GLOW 6) it is unacceptable that a child /young person is excluded from the place that is being offered to them to engage in learning and although paper resources are being issued - all pupils should have the same access to the same online classroom where engagement is taking place and staff have an opportunity to reach out 7) children sharing devices for homeschooling (and for completing work generally after this pandemic) creates inequity. Parents are juggling who gets the device and those families who have one for each child are advantaged. 8) Businesses, employers need digitally literate young people in their work force and should contribute to supporting this financially after this pandemic. 9) if any Scottish philanthropist can part find this then it is a clear way to begin to close the poverty related attainment gap.

by GPryceDIckson on May 10, 2020 at 11:15AM

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