Centacare FNQ while working on the Home School Savvy initiative has found there is a growing and urgent need to address the emerging digital divide.
Centacare FNQ has been working with families from across the region who are working and learning from home during the covid-19 pandemic and are seeing increased demand for laptops and tablets for children and adults. Even though students are being supported to access data there’s a massive gap in the accessibility and adequacy of devices.
Far North Queensland is not alone. Access to technology has been raised across the state as an urgent and growing community need especially for large families with multiple school aged children.
Centacare FNQ has been proactive in creating new community solutions to the growing need and are working with GiveIT, local organisations and schools to address the growing gap that has emerged.
Executive Director Anita Veivers said, “What people need is the ability to stay connected. If you can’t do that, you’re not only socially disconnected but you are disadvantaged. Learning from home has raised awareness of this social gap that’s only going to increase, making it harder for families to obtain employment, connect with services and importantly access education and training.”
“We are calling on the local community to donate second hand or new devices including laptops and tablets to Centacare FNQ, for distribution to families and children who currently do not have appropriate access to these devices. The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way families, communities and students connect with each other, their work and education. Children already disadvantaged through family circumstances are now even more at risk of falling behind on their school work and being socially isolated.”
With Cairns predicted to be one of the hardest hit communities economically in coming months it is likely we will see this need increase.
We currently have families waiting for technology support. For those interested in donating you can contact Centacare FNQ by calling (07) 4044 0130 emailing [email protected] or by messaging us through the Centacare FNQ Facebook page.
For more information about this press release please, contact Anita Veivers on (07) 4044 0130.