The Ontario government has partnered with Apple and Rogers Communications to provide iPads and internet access for low-income students.
Premier Doug Ford said Friday they will be purchasing hundreds of deeply-discounted iPad tablets from the U.S. tech giant and deploying them to school boards across the province.
He also said Rogers Communications will be providing free cellular internet access with the iPads.
Rogers is the parent company of CityNews.
Premier Ford said he hopes this will give some parents “peace of mind” using the online learning system, which was set up because classes have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This week Ontario school boards began distributing iPad to students who don’t have either the technology or the internet they need to access the Learn at Home program,” a government news release said. ” To date, over 21,000 will be sent to the homes of families in need.”
Rogers said they will provide internet access for free until the end of the school year.
“For some of the most vulnerable members of our society, accessing online learning tools at home is an added burden at a time when there is already a lot of stress,” said Dean Prevost, president, Rogers for Business. “Rogers is pleased to be working alongside the Ontario Government, Apple and school boards across the province to help close the digital divide for some of our most vulnerable young people and their families.”
The government said it will be up to individual school boards to determine which students are eligible for the program.
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