“Sir, this has been the best school day ever!”. Student from a school in remote Queensland who received his own digital device through the Bridging the Digital Divide Program.
Over the last 18 months, having access to a digital device for any primary or secondary school student has been essential to being able to learn. The COVID Pandemic meant online learning was the only way to access a classroom and for the many students in rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland without a personal digital device, a huge disadvantage.
When Litehaus Foundation launched their Digital Inclusion Program in March 2020, providing digital devices to students who do not have a laptop or desktop at home, the number of applicants was alarming. Jack Growden, CEO and Founder of Litehaus International said they were surprised to receive over 1400 applications. “We were inundated. Over 45 schools from Charters Towers to Cape York to the Gulf Country, including significant numbers of regional towns such as Townsville and Cairns. One school reported that only 2 students among their secondary cohort of 194 had access to a device at home” said Jack.
After visiting one remote north Queensland school, Jack said “The students simply could not believe it and kept thanking us for thinking of them. When we spoke about what they wanted to do when they were older, we talked about dreaming big because in the digital age, there is nothing they cannot do, and they really felt it. That was an amazing moment made possible by the support from all of our partners especially The John Villiers Trust.”