Holistic Educational Programmes to Support over 1,000 Students and Nurture Spirit of Innovation

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 28 September 2020 - The growing number of families in need seeking e-learning support under the 'One Laptop' programme (the 'Programme'), jointly launched by the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation ('HKIF') and Sino Group in August 2020, reflects the increasing challenges and urgent demand in the community for technological support outside of the classroom. Over 2,300 applications were received between 17 August and 4 September 2020. Out of 1,019 successful applications, over 60 per cent of applicants do not have a computer at home, impacting children's ability to keep up with schoolwork. In response to the growing need for educational support, the Programme has been extended to cover more families in Hong Kong, increasing the distribution of laptops from the originally planned 200 to more than 1,000 units.

 


Hong Kong Innovation Foundation and Sino Group donate laptops and provide online support to 1,019 families in need through 'One Laptop' Programme. First on the right - back row: Ms Nikki Ng, Deputy Chairman of HKIF and Group General Manager of Sino Group and first on the left - back row: Mr Ivan Yau, General Manager, Community Affairs Department of Sino Land Company Limited and staff volunteers of the Programme

  

The large number of applications for laptops under the Programme indicates there is a need for long-term educational support for low-income families in Hong Kong. The Programme aims to provide both hardware and technical support for schoolchildren from these families. From 21 September to 3 October 2020, a total of 1,019 families with children ranging from Primary 4 to Secondary 3 will have received a laptop; all laptops include a two- or three-year warranty, as well as daily online support from our partner,  Hong Kong Baptist University. In addition, Programme applicants who previously did not have access to a broadband internet connection at home, accounting for almost 20 per cent of total successful applications, will receive two pre-paid 90GB mobile data SIM cards for online access.


All Programme applicants have been referred by school principals, teachers, registered social workers or representatives of non-governmental organisations. Ms May Wong, social worker of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Jockey Club Tai Kok Tsui Integrated Services Centre shared that, '12-year-old Yuen Yuen has just started Secondary 1. Amid the suspension of face-to-face classes in the last six months, Yuen Yuen has been heavily relying on her mobile phone for e-learning and doing homework, making it a real struggle for her study. While face-to-face classes have partially resumed in the new academic year, online classes are still ongoing. Receiving a laptop at this critical moment is exceptionally meaningful and essential for Yuen Yuen. I am glad that she is now equipped with a laptop to facilitate her online learning while catching up with schoolwork.'

 

'Continued learning is essential and critical to children's growth and development. As e-learning is becoming a new norm amid COVID-19, HKIF and Sino Group see the urgent need to provide relevant educational tools to children from less-resourced families, making online learning at home more accessible and effective for them.' said Ms Nikki Ng, Deputy Chairman of HKIF and Group General Manager of Sino Group. 'As we received over 2,300 applications in 19 days, the response from the community has been very enthusiastic. We quickly made the decision to increase the laptop donation number to 1,019 with the aim to help more students cope with the new learning arrangements amid the uncertain situation. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to our like-minded partners and to our staff volunteers for helping with the "One Laptop" Programme, and enabling us to run the laptop distribution and collection smoothly.'

 

Going beyond the provision of hardware devices, ongoing technical support will be provided to respond to students' daily learning needs. All enquiries related to online learning, including use of software and different e-learning platforms, will be handled through consultation with online learning support ambassadors, who are undergraduates of Hong Kong Baptist University, to enhance the young students' learning efficiency. The online learning support ambassador programme has also provided job opportunities to the university students. Around 50 passionate students from the Hong Kong Baptist University have been selected as learning support ambassadors for the Programme so far, who are committed to playing a part in the programme by helping those children in need.

 

In addition, HKIF will provide a series of training courses to enhance understanding of computer and internet use, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning opportunities to these students and their families in the upcoming months to nurture them with a spirit of innovation.

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