Hundreds of laptops are being delivered to Dundee schoolchildren as they face almost another four weeks – at least – of home learning.
Some 2,000 devices and connection packages are being distributed to youngsters who would otherwise struggle to access lessons online while schools remain closed to most pupils.
Earlier this month it emerged that more than three quarters of laptops ordered by Dundee City Council last year to help disadvantaged pupils with home learning were yet to be delivered.
But as the First Minister confirmed on Tuesday that schools will not fully reopen before the middle of February, the council said it was doing all it could to ensure children and young people have access to technology to allow them to work from home.
2,000 G5 ProBooks
A Scottish Government grant of £800,000 allowed the purchase of 2,000 G5 ProBooks and connection packages for Dundee youngsters, and the council said the majority of these have now been issued.
Children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “As remote learning continues, we are doing all we can to help ensure that young people are not disadvantaged by the lack of devices or connections.
“The distribution of the ProBooks gives us an additional resource on top of school technology which has already been given out to households where it can have the most impact.
“Access to technology is important, as is the ability to connect to the internet. Schools and the children and families service are continuing to monitor the situation and will intervene where help is needed.”
We are doing all we can to help ensure that young people are not disadvantaged by the lack of devices or connections.”
Councillor Stewart Hunter
Mr Hunter also thanked teaching staff for their “hard work and commitment to deliver quality remote learning in such innovative and imaginative ways”.
He said: “This is not an easy time and I am impressed by the way that challenges have been taken on and opportunities have been created for our young people.”
On the day schools reopened to children of key workers and vulnerable children after the Christmas holiday, we revealed that just 150 laptops out of a bulk order of 1,250 had been handed out to pupils across the city.
This was a second bulk order of devices made by the council and was placed last autumn.
Delays by the companies providing the devices were said to be to blame, but the council said a significant amount of equipment was due to be delivered to pupils last week.
A previous order for 640 laptops was delivered to pupils by mid-October last year.