15 percent of Richmond Co. students don't have internet at home

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Thursday, August 1, 2019
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RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Fifteen percent of Richmond County students don't have internet at home.

With technology such a huge part of our lives now, it can affect how they do in school as students are taking tests on computers and tablets.

A roundtable with some big names was held Thursday to talk about exposing those kids to technology.

Justin Durham is the principal at Murphey Middle School where all students have access to technology with one-to one.

“One-to-One is where students are actually given a laptop that they’re able to take home,” Durham said.

More than 700 students at the school are also given a laptop during school.

“We're engaging students so that students are finding lessons to be relevant and that they're rigorous, which is helping them to become college and career ready,” Durham said. “That's definitely our goal here."

But when it comes to taking the computers home, some choose not to.

"Some of the students do deal with the issue of not having the internet at home,” Durham said. That number is close to 3,000 students in the county.

“I'm thinking it has a lot to do with maybe socio-economic access,” Phil Wahl, chairman of the Business Education Advisory Council, said.

So the community is coming together to try and fix that problem which could mean free internet for those in need.

“Somebody has to pay for it, okay? There's nothing free,” Wahl said. “Now for the end user it might be a free service, but who’s going to pay for that? That's where that private-public partnership comes into play.”

The community doesn't know for sure just yet how they'll help students who don't have internet, but they do know it's a must.

The Business Education Advisory Council says they'll be meeting again to come up with a permanent solution for internet access at home, but they do have the education resource fund through the Community Foundation.

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