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April 21, 2020

UK to offer laptops and tablets for online learning amid COVID-19 outbreak

The UK Department for Education said that the government will provide free laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people across the country to support online learning amid the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak.

UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announces govt’s support to students for online learning amid COVID-19 outbreak. (Credit: Crown copyright)

The UK Department for Education said that the government will provide free laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people across the country to support online learning amid the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak.

The department said that the government is making an attempt to enable access to remote education for students staying at home owing to the pandemic.

It said that the government will order devices for children in the most important stages of their education, those who are supported by a social worker and care leavers.

Furthermore, 4G routers will be provided by the government to ensure that disadvantaged secondary school pupils and care leavers can make use of the internet. This will be for families that do not already have mobile or broadband internet connections at their homes.

The department said that during the COVID-19 crisis, the UK’s main telecommunications providers will make it easier for families to access certain educational resources by exempting such sites temporarily from data charges.

Apart from that, for supporting the hard work of schools in providing remote education, the Oak National Academy is set to launch later this month, said the department.

The Oak National Academy, which is backed by government grant funding, is a brand-new enterprise created by 40 teachers from some of the top schools in England.

The enterprise will offer 180 video lessons every week, across a broad variety of subjects from maths to art to languages, covering every year group from Reception through to Year 10.

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According to the Department for Education, schools and colleges can keep their laptops and tablets after their reopening once the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. The department said that this means that the laptops and tablets will play a key role in helping children to learn while their schools and colleges are closed, and will also continue helping them learn in the future.

UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Schools will remain closed until the scientific advice changes, which is why we need to support the incredible work teachers are already doing to ensure children continue to receive the education they deserve and need.

“By providing young people with these laptops and tablets and enabling schools to access high quality support, we will enable all children to continue learning now and in the years to come. We hope this support will take some of the pressure off both parents and schools by providing more materials for them to use.”

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