Amsterdam, Rotterdam provides computers for home-schooling

Children have to have access to a computer to do school work. Photo:

Amsterdam local council is lending 3,250 laptops to children who do not have a computer at home so they won’t fall behind in their lessons, while a similar scheme involving 4,000 laptops is underway in Rotterdam.

The Parool quotes a figure of 5,500 families with children of primary school age who have no computer and who are missing out on online home-schooling classes. Schools themselves are also helping by providing equipment and by supporting private schemes.

The council is also providing 450 internet connections.

School closures and the lack of computers in some families will create inequality in the long term, education alderwoman Marjolein Moorman told the paper.

Many families also lack the space for home-schooling, with teachers reporting that some children follow classes from the bathroom, she said.  Children in unsafe home environments are being looked after by schools as an exception to the rule.

Among the suggestions to make up for lost time, particularly for disadvantaged children, are summer schools and spending a longer period in school, the Parool said.

The cabinet is expected to make an announcement tomorrow on how long schools will remain closed, depending on an ongoing RIVM investigation into how quickly coronavirus spreads among children.

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