May 27, 2020 | Weingarten
The coronavirus crisis has highlighted that access to digital media is not a given for all pupils, and yet it has never been so crucial to successful learning as it is now.
The company's donation will help schools to provide IT devices for disadvantaged pupils, in particular. "It is unacceptable for children's education to be disadvantaged because they do not have access to digital media," said Dr. Mathias Wagner, Chairman of the Board of Management of the CHG-MERIDIAN Group, commenting on the donation. "The digitalization of schools, and the digital skills this facilitates, are a key factor in the future of our children – not just during the current situation, but also beyond."
At present, it is unclear when regular school life will resume. To ensure that home schooling does not mean the end of equal opportunity, access to a computer of one's own has become hugely important. But not every family can afford this, as a new study(1) by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research shows: although almost 90 percent of families own digital devices, ownership levels are lowest among families with little education, low earners, and families with a migration background. Significantly less than half of the twelve to fourteen-year-olds surveyed have sole access to a PC or laptop, which makes home schooling more difficult.
As a technology manager, CHG-MERIDIAN finances and provides IT equipment for large corporations, SMEs, and the public sector, and offers services related to its use.
Over the past few weeks, the 100 donated laptops have been professionally refurbished at CHG-MERIDIAN's technology center near Frankfurt after their first cycle of use by customers. All data has been erased using a certified process. The equipment will be divided between the five Ravensburg schools: the primary schools Neuwiesen and Weissenau and the secondary schools Albert Einstein, Spohn, and Welfen.
"As the education authority, equality of schooling is very close to our hearts," said Simon Blümcke, the Deputy Mayor of Ravensburg, who received the laptops on behalf of the Ravensburg schools. "Thanks to generous donations like this, we can provide IT equipment to students who cannot afford to buy it themselves."
Decision-makers on Ravensburg city council are also hoping for the rapid implementation of the federal government's emergency equipment program. This €500 million package has been created to fund the purchase of mobile devices which can then be lent to pupils by schools and educational authorities.