Trinity and AIB today announce a partnership that will see 450 laptop devices delivered to second level students who cannot attend school due to the COVID 19 crisis.
The Tech2Students initiative was begun by Trinity’s Access Programme in association with the charity Camara Education Ireland, with support from ESB. Trinity Access is one of the flagship projects in Trinity’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ philanthropic campaign: https://www.tcd.ie/campaign/.
The initiative will ensure the devices will be delivered to schools in the greater Dublin area within the next two weeks as the window narrows for students preparing for the Leaving Certificate in July.
Dr Cliona Hannon, Director of Trinity Access, said thousands of students don’t have access to a laptop at home.
The Tech2Students initiative aims to have a total of 1,000 repurposed devices in students’ home by mid-May and then to extend the campaign. The aim, she said, was to ensure “no student experiences a digital divide that impacts on their education”.
AIB CEO Colin Hunt said that the closure of schools and the establishment of virtual class-rooms should not mean that some students would be left without access to the necessary technology to assist them through their exams. He said:
“AIB is supporting Tech2Students as we are acutely aware there is still a substantial digital divide in areas of social disadvantage. In some schools, 50% of the students do not have access to a device to continue their education at home. This campaign aims to get affordable, repurposed devices to students as soon as possible,” he said.
Launched in April 2020, there has been strong endorsement for the Tech2Students initiative in its early weeks, including support from a select group of corporates and individuals.
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) announced funding for the scheme on April 22nd but there is still a need to reach every student who is home-schooling without the access to a laptop device.