Dutch gov’t to give thousands more students a free laptop

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science allocated 2.5 million euros to purchase laptops for school pupils who have to do distance learning due to the coronavirus and do not have the proper equipment at home. This money will buy laptops for over 6,800 pupils in primary-, secondary-, and secondary vocational education, Sivon, a partnership of school boards, said to NOS.

One of the measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus was to close all schools in mid-March. This and other measures were extended to April 28 earlier this week. 

This resulted in schools scrambling to provide education at home, mostly online. But not all pupils were able to participate, for example because they did not have a computer at home or the home computer had to be shared with other family members, Sivon said. This contribution from the Ministry of Education will help bring school to the homes of these pupils.

So far 145 school boards have applied for laptops. The first computers will be delivered before the end of this week.

Earlier this week the municipality of Amsterdam announced that it was making 3,250 laptops and 450 WiFi hotspots to school pupils who do not have the proper equipment at home to follow distance education while the schools are closed.