What is this scheme?
As a result of COVID-19, children all over the UK have had to trade the classroom for their living rooms, swapping school life with home-schooling. This means that loads of students have had to adapt to using their own technology to stay connected to their classmates and teachers for online learning. However, around 9% of children in the UK don’t have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet to participate in online schooling.
That’s why Asda has partnered with technology provider Dell and invested £2 million in the project, so that every Asda store in the country can donate at least ten laptops to a nearby school. Asda are also donating a number of SIMs from our network. The scheme will help disadvantaged children who have been unable to participate in online lessons.
What is being delivered to schools?
Each laptop that is donated comes with a one-year warranty and its own tech bundle, which includes a headset for communicating in virtual video lessons, and a mobile dongle (USB) with a data allowance of 20GB on it. This free SIM comes from Asda mobile’s new network provider, Vodafone. This package ensures that every child who may be struggling to access their schoolwork has the chance to continue learning remotely.
The rollout of the scheme has started, with the first round of laptops and SIMs being delivered on 4th March.
How does this scheme work?
The laptops and data allowances have been funded by our charity, the Asda Foundation, which granted £500,000 to launch this initiative. Schools will be chosen by Asda’s Community Champions programme and Better Communities team, who will identify and nominate the primary or secondary schools that educate the largest percentage of families with technological disadvantages. This will ensure that the laptops and SIMs are being sent to those who are most in need.
Why is Asda doing this?
Asda have always been committed to supporting education. Last Autumn, the Asda Foundation donated over £500,000 to schools across the UK to help children get back into classrooms. This money contributed to buying stationery, school uniforms, breakfasts, and more, so that no one felt excluded.
Roger Burnley, the CEO and President of Asda, said that “digital exclusion is an issue affecting many thousands of children… [who] have been disproportionately affected by the lockdown… We want to do all we can to help break down the digital barriers so they can continue their education remotely”.
We’re also proud to be part of the Department for Education’s scheme to temporarily provide free mobile data to help disadvantaged children access remote education. Schools will be able to apply on behalf of any pupil who is on our network and requires support until the end of July.
With the pandemic causing home-schooling to fluctuate, our support in providing free technology and SIMs to households around the UK will make sure that no child is left behind in their education.
If you want to further encourage your child to keep learning whilst at home, take a look at our recommendations for the best educational apps you can download.