'Scholarships Santander connects', mitigating the digital divide among young students

The Internet supposed a revolution and improved many lives by offering endless possibilities to access information, employment, communication, education and man

'Scholarships Santander connects', mitigating the digital divide among young students

The Internet supposed a revolution and improved many lives by offering endless possibilities to access information, employment, communication, education and many other services. However, not everyone has that possibility even today, well for not having adequate infrastructure where it lives or not to have the tools and equipment for it. It is what is known as a digital divide, an issue that tries to combat administrations and different institutions and entities for a long time. This inequality in access to new digital technologies has become more patent if it fits during the pandemic, especially among some collectives such as students. UNICEF points out in a study conducted with PWC that "in the world, one in three students - around 463 million young people - have not been able to access online education when the centers were forced to close during the first wave of The pandemic, due to the lack of equipment to connect from home ".

Banco Santander is one of the entities that has put on their sand granite to alleviate this situation among students and has launched a grant program, Santander Technology Scholarships connects, whose objective is to contribute to mitigating that digital divide among university students. The initiative is aimed especially at students from families who are going through financial difficulties in the last year due to the sanitary crisis by the Coronavirus. In some cases, these families only have a computer for several children of age to study, have obsolete devices or do not have adequate connectivity solutions.

Santander Technology Scholarships connects benefit 1,520 young people who, in addition to receiving a computer, have an economic aid of 350 euros for connectivity during a period of 12 months (academic year 2020/2021). "Our main objective with Santander Scholarships connects is to contribute to digitization without generating new gaps, but on the contrary; it is essential to support the progress of young people from inclusion and without leaving anyone behind," says Susana García Espinel, Director of Santander Smartbank, Santander Universities and Universia Spain.

This universities have been added to this aid program that, after the transfer period of 12-month teams, may acquire them and determine whether they extend the transfer of use to the Beneficiaries of the Scholarship.

Amara Naheed Chaudhry, student in Optics and Optometry at the Terrasa Faculty, from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, is one of the scholarships and a few days ago that he received his computer. "We are three brothers, my sister is on a third party, my brother in a second from baccalaureate and I am in the faculty," she says. In the case of it, they had a computer that were forced to share: "Now we have two and for me it will be easier to finish my end-of-grade work in which I am working," she explains Amara. She has also received an Equitat scholarship, granted to students residing in Catalonia and that is fully compatible with the aid granted by Banco Santander.

Like so many others, the arrival of the Covid put upstairs the economy of the family of Amara, since, according to him, his father is taxi driver and were happy before the explosion of the pandemic: "Everything was fine, but the Covid affected us Much, because there was no work due to the lack of tourists. "

Although this is the first edition of Santander Technology Scholars, the truth is that Last year Banco Santander, in collaboration with the Rector Conference of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and the CSIC, launched the fund surpasses Covid-19. With an endowment of 8.5 million euros, it was intended to finance projects and college support measures in three lines: research, social impact projects and strengthening the technological capacity of Spanish universities.

Within this initiative, 2 million euros were allocated to facilitate close to 5,000 computers and connectivity solutions to Internet and webcams to more than 15,000 young university students from all over Spain in an unfavorable socio-economic situation. The objective was to help them continue with their training during the closure of the classroom.

One of the beneficiaries of that aid was Ainhoa Portilla, a third-year student of Magisterium in Primary Education at the University of Cantabria. She, next to her two brothers and her mother, lives in the town of Roiz. According to her, she tells, at home they had a router, "that was all day failing, and a laptop." She learned of the help she gave Banco Santander and requested a new router and a computer, since the one who had had to share it with that of her two brothers of her, students both from one middle cycle. "It helped us a lot when it comes to following the online classes when the classrooms closed and attending the tasks. Among my brothers, when studying the same, there was not so much trouble sharing the one we had, but in my case it was more complicated. So To receive the new computer facilitated a lot that I could follow the classes in full pandemic, "he says.

Updated Date: 09 October 2021, 08:22

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