Medhurst Communications donates computers to allow children to learn from home during school closures
WITH schools closed to all but key worker pupils during the coronavirus crisis, an IT company has provided free computers to help ensure children don’t fall behind with their school work.
As many schools are now setting lessons online, The Cowplain School headteacher, Ian Gates, had become concerned that children who didn’t have a computer at home would miss out on learning.
Mr Gates said: ‘Although we are sending hard copies of work home, our teachers are setting daily online work which matches pupils’ timetables. However, we know that some children don’t have access to a home computer or there may only be one in the household which needs to be shared with parents working from home or siblings.’
IT manager Ian Newman added: ‘We can send work out in the post but it’s much better for children to be able to access the online work which teachers are setting. We’ve given out 25 of our own spare laptops but this is not enough to cater for demand.’
After hearing about the school’s plight, Segensworth IT company Medhurst Communications stepped in to provide pupils with the free loan of 20 additional computers. In order to prevent any coronavirus risk, all computers have been cleaned with antibacterial solution and supplied with a new mouse and keyboard.
Managing director Charlie Baynes said: ‘A key focus of our company is education and during what is a national crisis we were only to happy to do our bit for the community. If I was working for the NHS as a nurse or doctor then I would be on the front line and so giving out some computers is the least we could do.
‘Hopefully it will have the desired effect of enabling children, as best they can, to keep up with their work.’
After computers were updated with the latest software, parents have been collecting the machines from outside the school reception.
One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘This is a wonderfully thoughtful idea. My children will very much benefit from being a computer. We are currently having to share one computer between ourselves and three children.
‘I understand that some families may not have a computer at all, in which case they should get priority.’
Mr Gates said: ‘We’re really thankful to Medhurst. These computers will be put to good use and the gesture is really appreciated by children and parents.’
With over 100 parents applying to borrow a computer, the school is still ‘around 50 short’ of ensuring all children have full access to remote learning.
Mr Newman said: ‘If anyone has an old laptop they would like to donate then we would be very grateful.’
Medhurst said it wants to provide more computers to schools.