Wirral Council keeping kids learning

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Access to laptops is essential for online learning / © Tyler Nix, Unsplash

Wirral Council has launched an initiative to help children in need continue their education remotely.

With online learning becoming the new normal, many children are at a disadvantage due to them not having access to appropriate technology.

‘Keep Kids Learning’ is a device donation initiative that involves businesses and residents donating spare or unused laptops they may have. The option of offering a financial contribution to help buy new devices is also available.

Councillor Wendy Clements, Chair of Wirral’s Children, Young People and Education Committee said: “I believe with the support of such a strong community we will be able to ensure children and young people have the equipment they need to continue their learning at home.”

The laptops donated need to meet specific criteria. They must be in good working condition, have the relevant charger included, and have all personal details and files removed.

An appointment only drop-off hub has been set up at Cheshire Lines Building in Birkenhead. People wishing to donate will need to book a specific date and time to drop off the laptops, which can be done by clicking on the eventbrite link on the Wirral Council website.

Staff will carry out checks on the donated devices to make sure everything is working correctly before installing the necessary software. Once completed, the devices will be distributed to schools for them to share with those children in need. Wirral Council will also liaise with schools to make sure access to the internet is available for pupils.

Parentkind (formerly known as PTA UK) is a charity that aims to advance education by encouraging the fullest cooperation between home and school, education authorities, central government and all other interested parties and bodies.

John Jolly, CEO of Parentkind said: “Schools are required to provide live lessons to children and the only way that children can actually access lessons is having a device which enables them to access those lessons.

“Even those children that have access to a laptop are often having to share that with their parents or with their siblings.”

Listen to full interview with John Jolly>>>

While many admire the Wirral Council’s initiative, some believe the government should be doing more to support underprivileged children.

The Department for Education are providing more than 1.3 million laptops and tablets to help disadvantaged pupils and students access remote education during the coronavirus pandemic. The department are also partnering with mobile network operators to help schools support disadvantaged pupils in years 3 to 11 who rely on a mobile internet connection for their education.

*Visit donation link HERE.

About Tallulah Suleman, JMU Journalism