Written by Moira Thomas, Group Director of Sustainable Business, Currys plc
10 August 2021
In early 2021, as the pandemic had its grips on the UK, the nation was in lockdown, our Currys PC World stores were temporarily closed along with offices and schools and people were ordered to stay at home, our thoughts turned to some of those who were being most affected by the lockdown order – teachers and students across the UK.
Home schooling posed one of the greatest challenges to teachers, children and parents. Digital poverty, already a huge issue pre-pandemic, was exposed as an even greater issue with many schools struggling to deliver the level of education required, remotely. Parents needed additional vital tech to help their children stay ahead and yet, so many were lacking what they needed.
As the UK’s largest electrical retailer, we saw it as our responsibility to help and so we joined forces with the Digital Poverty Alliance and become one of their founding partners. Our visions are also greatly aligned. At Dixons Carphone our vision is to Help Everyone Enjoy Amazing Technology and the DPA’s vision is to enable everyone to have an equal and sufficient opportunity to the life changing benefits that digital brings – we are perfect partners.
At the time we pledged £1m to equip 1,000 teachers and teaching assistants with the technology and help they needed to deliver high quality home schooling to 30,000 disadvantaged pupils.
As a mother of two young children, I am more than aware of the challenges parents faced with home schooling. Without the right tech, I wouldn’t have been able to support my children with their learning efforts. Luckily my children’s teachers had the tech they needed to engage with my children and their classmates on a daily basis but so many didn’t. Ensuring that all children are given equal learning opportunities is imperative whether that be during a pandemic or not, an even playing field is what every child deserves.
However, as the recent research from the DPA reveals, there is still much to do and I’m delighted that Dixons Carphone is leading the charge to help eradicate digital poverty but I would urge others to come forward to help tackle the digital divide.
Please visit https://digitalpovertyalliance.org/ to find out more.