End digital poverty and create a new global community

The Digital Poverty Alliance in the UK is filling a void of a decade of underfunding in education and tech in education, which will be the economic opportunity for many

Covid-19 has exposed much to all of us, from the chronic underfunding and resources available to health services, the health risks of obesity, that some see a pandemic as an opportunity to make friends rich, and that there is deep digital poverty in our society. Poor access to technology in education, both for pupils and professional educators, is exacerbating the digital divide and has the potential to seriously damage the opportunities of individuals and communities.

As we move towards a post-pandemic economy, technology education and technology access must be at the centre of the recovery. There are 1.8 million school children who are unable to get an online education because they have no device or connectivity in the UK. A further million can only access the web via a mobile phone, leaving a gap of up to 400,000 children with no access to education.

Prior to the pandemic, it was becoming abundantly clear that many sections of our society felt left behind, and that division stalked the thoughts of rural, northern and central regions of the USA, UK, France, Italy, Australia and many other nations. Younger, technologically or academically minded individuals have left their communities, whilst their classmates that stay behind are unable to secure meaningful work or win the favour of employment agencies. This has created a feeding ground for anger and divisiveness that has been exploited for political benefit.

That division between geographies will only continue if technology and tech skills continue to be one of the key dividing lines. As the pandemic demonstrated, we live and work in a global and technology driven economy, so skills and an ability to compete and communicate also has to be global.

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