The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has allocated a fund of €2.5 million (starting March 20) for the distribution of laptops to children from lower income backgrounds. The aim of this initiative is to allow them to follow the online education in place due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands has resulted in the closing of businesses and educational institutions. These measures were put into place in order to slow the spread of the virus.
What this means for Dutch society is a change in lifestyle. Restaurants offer take out, cafes offer coffee to go, fitness instructors offer live streams, and schools and universities offer online classes.
Society continues to function the best that it can. But it only works if you have access to the online world. Unfortunately, not everyone is given this opportunity.
Increasing connectivity for educational purposes
Many families in the Netherlands may not have access to computers let alone internet connections, both of which are crucial to facilitating online education.
That is why, last week, it was announced that telecom providers would grant temporary internet connection for those that do not have one now, according to De Volkskrant. Furthermore, €2.5 million will be provided by the government to Sivon, an IT company catered towards primary and secondary school education. The organisation will allocate the funds towards the purchase and distribution of laptops (will be carried out this week).
This means that a total of 6,800 children can now attend online classes.
It’s not enough
Amsterdam, for instance, initially forecasted 2,500-3000 families in need of laptops, and footed a bill of 1.2 million euros themselves for 3,250 Chromebooks and 450 WiFi hotspots. But it is believed that 5,500 families are in need of assistance, De Volkskrant reports.
However, initiatives such as the Leergeld Foundation aids the government, and schools also take measures themselves. The goal is to ensure that all students can access the necessary resources.
In Rotterdam, 4,000-5,000 children are still in need of additional resources. The city received a donation of 3,000 Chromebooks from the De Verre Bergen and Coolblue foundations, but more supplies are needed.
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