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How rugby star Maro Itoje is helping disadvantaged schoolchildren through the pandemic

Rugby player Maro Itoje is tackling the 'digital divide' between children that's been left by the COVID lockdown.

The sports star is helping to tackle the school laptop shortage, which is leaving a huge number of young people unfairly disadvantaged.

Maro Itofe says: "Education is often seen as a leveller, as a tool to use to aid social mobility, improve life chances, improve opportunities for the youth and for the future. But what we're seeing through this situation is the child attainment gap is widening as a result of the lockdown and as a result of the digital discrepancy."

"If we do nothing about it, it could have consequences for the most disadvantaged children."

The government has promised 1.3 million laptops to children that need them, but almost a year on only 800,000 have been delivered.

Inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford's free school meals campaign, Maro Itofe says this is an "opportunity for civil society to step up and fill the void."

He is now using his own platform, along with various charities, to send out digital devices and he is calling on "tech companies and broadband companies to step up and help" get quality data to disadvantaged children.

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