A group of financially disadvantaged students at Brimbank received a helping hand to improve their access to technology, with the goal of improving home learning outcomes statewide.
The nonprofit State Schools’ Relief (SSR) provides a source of advocacy for disadvantaged students across the state.
In 2020-2021, the organization helped more than 72,000 minors, with the average cost to help a child being $ 124.
This year, the focus of the organization has shifted to home learning. In April, SSR tested a program in which they gave laptops to students finishing high school, with the aim of allowing them to keep them for their after-school careers.
The organization distributed 100 Internet dongles and 73 laptops through Brimbank. In the nearby town of Melton, the organization distributed 22 Internet dongles and 49 laptops.
SSR chief executive Sue Karzis said technology had become a disadvantage during the pandemic.
âCOVID-19 has highlighted the digital divide and the lack of access and equity to the digital tools needed to engage in distance learning. This includes not only having a device, but also Internet connectivity and access to a dedicated space to study, âMs. Karzis said.
âStudents from vulnerable backgrounds are already starting to be disadvantaged and they need help to stay engaged in their education, which I think is a way to break the cycle of poverty. “
But Ms Karzis said the organization has yet to reach its distribution of technologies that can be used for educational purposes, which is seen as the crucial stepping stone to improving learning outcomes.
The organization launched an online donation portal to increase its capacity to provide technology support.
SSR aims to receive $ 500,000 to supply a total of 1,000 laptops across the state.