The Age reports today on the surge in requests for assistance from State Schools’ Relief – a charity that provides school essentials to disadvantaged students. According to the article, “State Schools’ Relief said student requests for items such as school uniforms, dongles and headphones had grown by more than a quarter during the pandemic.”
Parents Victoria CEO Gail McHardy, (who is also a Board member of State Schools’ Relief) is quoted in the article. Gail said the pandemic had left many previously comfortable people in a precarious financial position, as well as exposed a digital divide in Victorian schools.
“Certainly, device [access] was an issue before the pandemic, but it just put it on steroids because kids had to learn from home on a device, whereas at school they could access or share one,” she said.
“Even parents who have the means to pay for the device say they have to update it every few years and it’s a big expense, so imagine for the families who don’t [have the means].”