Nunavut hopes to distribute 5,000 laptops and tablets to students by March
Goal is to support learning from home if schools close due to COVID-19 outbreaks
Nunavut’s Education Department has distributed more than 1,400 laptops and tablets to Grade 11 and 12 students across the territory to date, with another 980 devices set to go out to Grade 10 students by the end of the month.
The goal, Education Minister David Joanasie told the legislative assembly Monday afternoon, is to have these devices in all Nunavut schools so they can be quickly distributed to students to help support learning from home if a COVID-19 outbreak causes schools to shut.
“As more devices are received, they will be gradually distributed to other grades to support remote learning,” he said.
In Nunavut, schools are shut if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 or community transmission of the virus in a community.
Arviat is the only Nunavut community where schools are closed.
The Nunavut government initially said last fall it was purchasing 3,000 laptops or iPads for Nunavut students, should students need to learn from home on the virtual school platform, Edsby.
Now Joanasie said his department has purchased a total of 5,000 devices, with the remaining ones expected to be handed out to students in March.
“I recognize the academic and personal challenges that have affected all Nunavummiut throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Joanasie said.
“With the purchase and distribution plan of these digital devices, my department will be able to provide students with additional support for their remote learning should the need arise.”