We have many students in America who live in poor neighborhoods and do not have access to broadband, or even dial-up, and they do not have laptops. It is also a fact that their parent/s most likely still have to go out to work every day. Who is able to homeschool these children? Fortunately the child in this photo is not one of these children who cannot do assignments on their computers because they don’t have any or whose parent has to come home from a long day at work and patiently homeschool their child. But not having access to a computer is a situation that puts already at-risk kids at even greater risk of growing up without an adequate education. It further limits the opportunities of those whose life options we have historically limited (to our shame.)
We have found ways to hook people up with cheap and practically indestructible computers and satellite internet connections in Sub Saharan Africa. Why doesn’t every American child have access to a computer and to the internet in the time of novel coronavirus when all schools are closed and there is only one way to access schoolwork? Perhaps teachers in inner city and rural schools have, once again, gone over and beyond to deliver and collect worksheets and assignments in books. I have not seen any stories on the news about this. Today I finally saw Stephanie Ruhle cover this on MSNBC.
I wrote my representatives in NYS and in Federal government about this several weeks ago but they are not really in session and are very busy trying to plug up holes in the economy. Big brush items are so important now that they are pushing aside the smaller issues. But I do not want to see another generation of children have to struggle against their more-well-to-do contemporaries to provide a good life for themselves and the children they will have one day. When you short change our poorest children who we already punish for their skin pigmentation, or their immigration status, the damage is generational. We could and should solve these particular inequalities right here and now. Even if losing a year of school will be difficult to remediate the effort must be made. I am hoping one of our philanthropic billionaires will take this on as a project and keep working at it until no child in America is without a computer and the knowledge of how to use it.
Photo Credit: From a Google Image Search – A Getty Image through Vox