THE Penang government, through its E-Learning Computer Programme, has given out 521 digital learning devices to needy students during the recovery movement control order (MCO) period.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the initiative was to ensure that no student is left behind in their right to education.
“I wish to congratulate the taskforce led by state social development committee chairman Chong Eng for providing needy students with electronic devices during the pandemic.
“They are able to use the devices for online studies during the MCO, thanks to the concerted effort of the taskforce members, private sector, state agencies, non-governmental organisations and the public, ” he said at the e-learning devices handover ceremony at Sunshine Square in Penang on Saturday.
The programme, launched by the state on May 21, is to assist needy students who do not have computers to take part in e-learning lessons.
Under the used computer grant scheme, the computers will be collected and repaired before they are donated to those eligible.
The computer device loan scheme saw several corporations providing devices to qualified students recommended by their schools.
During the ceremony, the taskforce handed over 219 gadgets comprising refurbished desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets to the state government.
Chow said the pandemic had intensified the challenges faced by the underprivileged students who would have fallen behind in their studies without the necessary e-learning devices.
He said the programme, in line with the Penang 2030 vision, had created a platform for public involvement in uplifting the vulnerable communities and narrowing the inequality gap caused by the digital divide.
“I am looking forward to more NGOs and different sectors joining us in the meaningful and noble programme, ” he said.
Chong Eng, in her speech, said the total economic impact of the programme was about RM1mil.
“With collaboration from all parties, the taskforce is looking forward to helping more needy students to obtain their own e-learning devices, ” she said.
Chong Soon Kheng, who is the programme’s e-refurbishing head, said donating the used devices would not only help the needy but also reduce e-waste and protect the environment.
Present were IRM Industries president Datuk Goh Eng Hoe, Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Hwang Thean Long, Penang Lions Club district governor Datuk Yeoh Moh Chai, JCI national executive vice president Lim Sou Shing and Penang Green Council general manager Josephine Tan.