Luton Mosques have been working with the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, the Level Trust and Luton Borough Council Education Service to form the Luton Learning Link to provide electronic devices to give to young people without one to work on at home during the Covid-19 crisis.
In Luton, 46% of young people live in poverty. Poverty means young people do not have all the equipment they need for learning from home, including a digital device. Although schools are doing their best to provide paper-based learning, if a young person does not have digital access, it is much harder for them to participate fully and their experience of learning is greatly impoverished.
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the injustice of the digital divide – a gap between those who have access and those who don’t. Without a device to work on at home, young people fall behind in their studies and miss out on developing key skills when compared to their peers.
One Luton High School Student said:
“I don’t have a laptop and have to borrow my cousins one when she isn’t using it. I get frustrated because I am falling behind with my work.”
We want to provide 250 devices to local young people who are in desperate need of one. We are asking local businesses to donate laptops, tablets or desktop computers that they no longer require. Devices will be given to local schools, who will deliver them to pupils in greatest need.
Susan Lousada, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire said:
“When I was asked to get involved in this scheme I had to say yes. Access to learning is close to my heart and I believe every child should have the chance to fully participate. Providing devices that allow children to engage in online learning through this crisis, will close the digital divide and allow children to fulfil their potential.”
Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder with responsibility for Education, Luton Council said:
“It has always been our endeavour to ensure that every child in Luton has equal learning opportunities. This is a wonderful joint local initiative to reduce education inequalities in the town by providing students with the necessary equipment to continue their education from home, under the given unprecedented circumstances.”
If you have devices to donate or want to find out more about the project visit www.lutonlearninglink.org.