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. As a retailer that helps everyone enjoy amazing technology it is only natural that 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 their families. 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, without the vital tech needed for remote learning.
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. 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. Our visions are greatly aligned; we are perfect partners.
At the time we pledged £1million and we started our support by equipping 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 aware of the challenges families faced with home schooling. Without the right tech, I would have struggled to support my children with their learning efforts. The pandemic brought struggles to many people in many ways, I was grateful for the tech and digital access I had at home but it was heart breaking that 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 and digital tech is a vital component.
As the recent research from the DPA reveals, there is still much to do and I’m proud that Dixons Carphone is leading the charge to help eradicate digital poverty but I urge others to come forward to help tackle the digital divide.