Camden crowdfunder to buy laptops for schoolchildren whose education has been affected by the pandemic

Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Images

Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Images - Credit: PA

Last term more than 3,000 Camden pupils were without access to a computer and a crowdfunder has been launched to help those whose education has been most affected by coronavirus.

The fundraising scheme to buy laptops for schoolchildren is being run by Camden Learning, a partnership between local schools and Camden Council.

Individuals and businesses are being urged to make small or larger donations in order to buy laptops and WiFi dongles for primary pupils and secondary students. £227 is enough to buy a computer.

Asma Maloumi, a student and deputy youth MP for Camden, said: “During lockdown the only way we could continue to learn was through a computer - this was a lifeline between students and teachers. There should be no hesitation to support this scheme, as the aim is to make sure no young person has to suffer by not having access to the internet or a computer. If you can donate a few pounds to this campaign, it will go a long way in helping a child access their school, teachers and classmates.”

Councillor Angela Mason, cabinet member for best start for children and families and a Camden Learning Board member, said: “Camden schools have been lending their pupils computers, as well as doing their own fundraising to buy digital kit, while Camden Learning and Camden Council have successfully appealed for some donated devices, bought some emergency kit for a limited number of children who might be sent home, as well as distributing computers bought by the Government for selected year groups.

“However, none of this has been anywhere near enough to end the inequality of access to online learning in our borough, which has become so painfully apparent during this Covid-19 crisis. This means that thousands of Camden pupils, including some of our most disadvantaged children, still have no access or only limited access to a computer and Wi-Fi at home.

“We think this is unacceptable so it is our ambition that no pupil or student in Camden schools should be without the equipment - computer and Wi-Fi connection - they need to access home learning online, which has become so important during the pandemic.”