The lockdowns unequivocally accentuated the digital divide and educational inequalities also in France. Children from disadvantaged areas were left behind when schools abruptly switched to remote learning, in March 2020, because of the lockdown measures.
According to the French Ministry of Education, the digital gap forced over 500,000 low-income students to drop out of school, causing a severe educational crisis. The country’s educational emergency echoed a call to action from the Foundation that decided to intervene. The theme of the #WeAreAllConnected initiative was therefore extended to France to address the digital divide impacts.
As a result, the following actions were implemented:
- In July 2020, 20 PCs were donated to the Thomas Edison High School in Échirolles. Patrick Dureault, one of the Foundation’s Board Members, was present for the occasion, emphasizing that the Foundation’s mission is the digital divide
- In September 2020, another 15 laptops were donated to the association “Ma Chance Moi Aussi” in Chambéry to give children, families, and teachers the right tools to bridge the digital gap.
In 2021, in collaboration with the French ST sites, another 100 PCs were donated to different organizations to assist them in better managing their educational activities. This happened in a time during which having the right equipment was fundamental to guarantee a good quality education for every student. The specifics of this initiative are as follows:
- In the first quarter of 2021, 27 PCs were donated to the La Garenne Highschool in Voiron and the La Varappe association in Aubagne.
- In the third quarter of 2021, 17 PCs were donated to Vercors Sciences, in Lans en Vercors, and to the Grésifablab associations, in Crolles.
- In the last quarter of 2021, 33 PCs were donated to the les Parents d’Elèves indépendant de Montlouis association and CSC La Passerelle,in Montlouis, to the University of Grenoble, in Grenoble, and to Marie Curie High School, in Echirolles.