$ 150 Million tablets and computers in the event of a 2nd wave

150 M$ en tablettes et ordis en cas de 2e vague

Québec is injecting $ 150 million to enable public schools to buy 200 000 tablets, and computers for the new school year so that the school network is ready to cope with any eventuality, learned The Newspaper.

Even if Québec relies on a return to the classroom full-time or part-time this fall, this vast offensive digital will allow schools to be better prepared in the event of a second wave of COVID-19, which could lead to new schools to close this fall.

According to the preliminary results of a data collection carried out this spring by the ministry of Education, close to 80,000 students do not have exclusive access to a tablet or a computer at home, which complicates already teaching at a distance.

Since mid-may, the continuation of learning at home is mandatory for primary school students from the greater Montreal area, where all the schools are closed, and for all of the students in secondary school.

In recent weeks, some 70 000 tablets and computers from schools that have been loaned to families, has recently stated the minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge.

Prepare for the ” worst case scenario “

School boards contacted by The Journal , however, have indicated that they would not be able to respond to all requests.

At the end of April, the government Legault also announced an agreement to make available to the school network 15 000 tablets connected to the internet, which has however known to backfire, chiefly because of the delays of ordering and delivery.

In recent days, several actors of the education network have urged the minister Roberge to prepare for the “worst case scenario” for the fall, so as not to relive the difficulties experienced in the school system since mid-march, including online teaching.

The amount of $ 150 million includes the carryover of unused amounts this year ($35 Million), the money already announced for the year 2020-2021 ($75 Million) and the prepayment of amounts provided in the course of the next few years ($40 Million), said.

Training and support

The purchase of tablets and laptops, which could then be loaned out to families, will be prioritized. Training and coaching will also be available for school staff.

The centers of academic services will be invited to share their needs in terms of computing tools by the 19 June.

A cell phone is to do school at home

From the beginning of April, Linda Gravel raised his hand to get a computer or a tablet provided by the school. While the end of the school year approach, his boy should always make the school-to-home on a cell phone.

“One does what one can with the means at hand. But my boy has not been able to do half of its work “, says this mother who lives in Montreal.

He was however assured that his loan application it had been considered a priority, a teacher who has selected his boy ” because he really needs it “, she says.

Ms. Gravel is far from the only one in this situation. The children of Mélanie Legrand, who are in fourth year and fifth year, may participate in virtual classes from their teachers since they do not have a computer or internet connection at home.

The mother-of Montreal struggles to follow their plan of work weekly, she consults on her cell phone.

“What I find particularly difficult is that they may not have links with their friends and their teacher, because they can’t do the online dating. It’s their lack, ” said Ms Legrand.

The mother needs to “turn into a teacher” by giving itself the explanations on the concepts to review at home. The kits are sent to him by post, but it has only received two shipments up to now.

A few days ago, the school has proposed to lend him a tablet, but the mother had to decline the proposal, because the device had no built-in internet connection.

Save his year

However, access to computer equipment and connected to the internet can make all the difference for students. This is the case for Joanie Desroches, a student of second secondary de-Beaupré which has received a few weeks ago a computer provided by his school.

“Before, I had to do everything on my phone, and it made me déconcentrait, because of the messages coming back. Now, it is much easier to do my work and follow my courses online. The teacher who calls us every week told me that I was improving a lot, ” she said.

Joanie now has good hope of a successful year, which probably would not have been possible without this new computer at home.

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