As we kicked off the new school year, several local communities and churches came together to collect school supplies such as notebooks, crayons, folder, pencils, and backpacks for students. We praise these great effort. However, it turns out that we have another major challenge that doesn’t get much attention in local communities–“homework gap.”
Federal agency experts cited to recent studies which revealed that seven out of 10 teachers assign homework that requires internet access for research and completion of basic school work. Here’s the caveat: Five million households with school-aged children do not subscribe to broadband technology at home. These kids are falling into “homework gap and unable to do basic schoolwork.”
The findings revealed valuable information about access to technology and the issues faced by low income families with school-aged kids.
School supplies are no longer the only challenge affecting students from low income households. Regular access to broadband and home computers are no longer luxuries. Without proper access, these students can potentially miss out on the opportunity to develop the digital skills necessary to compete for technology charged careers.
The “homework gap” diminishes opportunities for students to enter the workforce prepared with adequate digital skills. In turn, they enter the market unprepared and will likely struggle to compete for these jobs.
This reality won’t be solved overnight. But, it must be addressed from all levels of government. It seems as if though these discussions only happen in Washington.
The “homework gap” needs more attention than we’re giving it. This critical issue needs more than just Washington. We also need state/local leaders, the business community, nonprofits, and the private sector to make this a priority item on the agenda. That priority item must include providing every child with the opportunity to compete and succeed in today’s global economy.
We must meet students’ need for modern communication across the nation so that they can keep pace with the ever- evolving demand for new skills, knowledge, and make a difference in their communities.
Let’s elevate the dialogue and take actionable steps to make a difference!
By Yamira Lee Johnson, Business Nature, Inc. (@BusinessNature)