August 1, 2021

‘We must include direct provision’ – Wicklow TD calls for all children to share in €50m grant

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly has called for the recently announced ICT grant package to include children in Wicklow’s Direct Provision centres.

 The €50million grant is to go towards buying laptops and other IT equipment to help students disproportionately affected by the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic

A recent study by Amnesty which surveyed refugees in Direct Provision centres across the country, including Wicklow, found almost 90 per cent were struggling to continue their education.

While access to Wifi was a major issue more than half did not have access to a laptop or a printer.

Deputy Donnelly, said the issue of access to computers in Wicklow’s detention centres is a major concern.

“I know from talking to staff there it is a real struggle for children trying to do their schoolwork,” he said.

“Across the country there are thousands of students without access to a laptop who have been very disadvantaged over the past six weeks since their schools closed.

“The focus will now rightly be put on getting laptops and other equipment to Leaving Certificate students, but work shouldn’t stop there.

 “We need to make sure the children in our Direct Provision Centres in Wicklow are not forgotten.”

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