NEW YORK – Political and community leaders in New York City call for a solution to the situation of thousands of children who have not been able to exercise their right to education, amid the pandemic, because they do not have computers or access to the Internet to participate in remote classes.
The concern comes because there are 77,000 students who do not have the necessary electronic devices to study remotely and the most affected would be those who live in the city’s shelters. This was stated by the president of the borough of Brooklyn, Eric Adams.
According to Adams, these data were shared by the Department of Education in a hearing that took place on Friday, in which it was also pointed out that thousands of more students cannot participate in virtual classes because they do not have internet access.
“There are many children who are taking to the streets to seek that free access to wifi so he can just talk to his teacher and say I’m here, ”says Denise Felipe, the Brooklyn Borough’s assistant to the president.
According to these Department of Education data, schools where at least half of the students are African American or Hispanic reported eight times lower participation and low attendance.
Because of this report, elected officials, in the company of parents and students, gathered Sunday to call for transparency in the city’s strategy for remote learning.
“The city paid $ 250 million for 300,000 iPads, a price higher than what is on the market,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.
“We are paying retail prices for everything and we want to know why. Normally when a large company is ordering more than 100 products at a massive price, they lower the price of each unit. That is the first thing that we are finding out and where are the ones that they already asked for, ”said Denise Felipe, the assistant to the president of the borough of Brooklyn.
Those most affected are families who had to wait months for a tablet to arrive. “He (student) had to be working on his phone, but it was a bit difficult,” says Patricia Bravo, mother of a student.
The event concluded with a clear request to the Department of Education and internet providers: that all children have access to a device and broadband, particularly those who live in city shelters.