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Free broadband for children and young people without access

Free broadband for children and young people without access

Monday 20 April 2020

Free broadband for children and young people without access


Households with school children, and young people leaving care, who don’t have a broadband connection are being given access to one for free during the covid-19 crisis.

The move aims to ensure that all children, and young people leaving care, can continue their education, training and employment by working remotely and interacting with their teachers, lecturers and employers online, while schools remain closed and lockdown measures in force.

It comes after the Government of Jersey teamed up with Digital Jersey and all four local telecoms companies - Airtel-Vodafone, Homenet, JT and Sure – who have all agreed to take part in the offer, which will be limited to the duration of lockdown.

Parents and guardians over the age of 18 must apply for the offer and should contact their school or Digital Jersey for further information on how to take advantage of this offer. 

Children Services will make any necessary arrangements for young people leaving care.

“It is essential for the future of our island, as well as the individuals themselves, that we ensure all school children are given an equal opportunity to education,” the Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said.

“I am grateful for the support of Digital Jersey and the telecoms providers in ensuring continuity of teaching for all children no matter what their circumstances in these difficult times.” 

tracey-vallois.jpg

Pictured: Senator Tracey Vallois, the Education Minister.

Tony Moretta, the CEO of Digital Jersey, added: “We are very lucky in Jersey that most households have access to the island’s superfast broadband. 

“However, there may be some who do not and it’s important that children and young people who are unable to attend school, college or workduring the crisis, are given access to remote learning and employment. 

“This can be via a physical fibre connection, or mobile broadband if that’s more appropriate. There really is no reason why every one of our children and young people cannot continue their education or employment from home.” 

As the Easter break came to an end on Monday, the Education Minister announced today that no decision had been made on when to reopen schools, or what will happen in the summer break.

School closures and working from home

Pictured: Schools are currently closed until 5 May.

“Schools are currently closed until 5 May and more information about what happens after that date will be provided as soon as possible. These decisions will be informed, as usual, by health advice,” she added.

“It is a very challenging time for us all and it is vital that our education system continues to be in a position to respond to the latest public health advice as it emerges.”

Meanwhile, she said that the Education Department’s new 'Learning at Home' platform, which will provide extra support to help parents and students with home learning while schools are closed during term time, will be launching shortly.

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