Ontario’s Ford government will be giving 21,000 iPads to low-income students.
On Friday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that iPads equipped with data plans will be distributed to students who otherwise would not be able to access the province’s online learning tools.
“Our government made a commitment to parents that we would ensure your children would be safe while they learn,” Lecce said.
All schools in Ontario are closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Schools will remain closed until at least May 4.
Ford said that he hopes the iPads will help reassure those concerned about their children’s education.
“We have to bridge the gap for those kids who may not have the tools to learn,” stated the premier.
“I hope this gives you some peace of mind, knowing that your children will have access to the tools they need to continue learning during this difficult period.”
It will be up to the individual school boards to determine which students receive the iPads.
On March 20, the Ontario government launched the Learn from Home program, giving K-12 students access to courses in various subjects.
The iPads were provided to the province at a discounted price by Apple, and Rogers is providing the data plans.
With the future uncertain, Lecce says that the province is considering every option, including postponing in-class instruction until September.
“If we get the impression that we need to add additional supports, leaning into the next year, we will do it. We are looking into every option to make sure that no child has a gap in learning,” said Lecce.