As many as 5,000 children have no access to technology

As many as 5,000 children do not have access to technology.

This emerged from a study commissioned by the Malta Trust Foundation among 350 families.

From the 350 families interviewed in a survey last summer, 11 percent revealed that they are deprived of digital equipment.

This means that as many as 5,000 children do not have access to digital media and can’t keep up with other children their age.

On the back of these results, the Malta Trust Foundation has launched the Your Device – Your Right initiative, aimed at giving more families access to digital media also through equipment and laptops that can be upgraded and recycled.

The Chairperson of the Malta Trust Foundation, President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, said that computer learning companies were contributing to this initiative by offering free courses for both parents and students which will prepare them for ECDL exams free of charge.

Another company will be offering free internet to the 350 families who took part in the survey.

President Emeritus Coleiro Preca stressed the importance of access to education and said this need had increased during the pandemic.

“We also had families who came forward … asking the Malta Trust Foundation to help them buy laptops for their children so that they would be able to study from home. Hence: your device is your right, because we contend that since laptops and computers are so important to our children’s education, they are essentially linked to the right to education ”.

President of the Chamber of Commerce Marisa Xuereb said that access to digital media is indispensable for today’s world and no child should be allowed to fall behind.

“We call on all businesses and all those who change their laptops often to remember this initiative and offer the laptop they are going to replace to this project, so that we can give these 5,000 children in need, their own devices in the shortest possible time “.

Following a pilot project of the Malta Trust Foundation carried out in recent months, 55 laptops have already been repaired and upgraded, and have already been distributed to a range of students. The Foundation has appealed to anyone who has a laptop or device that is not being used not to throw it away but to pass it on to the Foundation.