Fintan O’Toole: Why no laptops for schoolchildren?

If a government moves classes online, it is its duty to ensure every student can access digital learning

A study last summer found that one in 10 parents of primary schoolchildren in Ireland lacked an appropriate digital device for home schooling. Photograph: iStock

A study last summer found that one in 10 parents of primary schoolchildren in Ireland lacked an appropriate digital device for home schooling. Photograph: iStock

One of the things I least like about Ireland is that it is hard to do a simple thing like giving some money to charity without having very complicated feelings. Voluntary efforts are a wonderful part of Irish society. But, far too often, they are not a supplement to a properly functioning system of social decency, but a substitute for it.

Last week, I made a small donation to the Trinity Access Programme’s nationwide effort to get laptops to second-level students whose families can’t afford to buy them. Rather than making me feel good as a person, it made me feel a bit sick as a citizen.

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