Bridging the Digital Divide
Tiernan O’Neill has spent over 12 years working in Corpus Christi primary school in Moyross, as a class teacher, home-school-community liaison co-ordinator and now Principal. He has seen first hand the devastating consequences of poverty and educational underachievement, but Covid-19 has led to increased difficulties.
The lack of broadband and laptops is creating a “digital divide” between affluent areas and some of his charges in Corpus Christi, he says.
“Kids just aren’t able to engage,” O’Neill explains. “In a lot of the homes, there is overcrowding, with as many as twelve living in one house.”
Some of his 350 children continue to get school-provided meals, which is now offering parcels of non-perishable food. O’Neill worries about the lasting psychological wounds that Covid-19 might leave behind on his pupils, saying that for some students, school is their safe place.
Moyross has a connection with Dalkey parish and Amelia Nelson-Sisinni set up a gofundme page to raise money to purchase tablets so that the students can remain connected.
He explains more to Miriam Gormally.