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Quebec reserves 30,000 computers, tablets for students amid coronavirus pandemic

The laptops and other similar devices will be prioritized to students who are using online learning or who have disabilities.
The laptops and other similar devices will be prioritized to students who are using online learning or who have disabilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Morry Gash

The Quebec government announced Wednesday it has established an emergency reserve of 30,000 technological devices in what it describes as an exceptional measure to ensure students have access to tablets and computers.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said he wants to support the education system to ensure access to computer equipment for all students in the province.

The initiative will cost $18.9 million. The goal is to ensure students will have access to quality distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The devices will be primarily intended for students who do not have access to computers or Grade 9 and 10 students who are alternating physically being in class and at-home learning during the coronavirus crisis.

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The province is also prioritizing students with disabilities, learning difficulties and those who are considered to be at risk for the devices.

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Roberge said that the plan follows an $150-million investment made available to school service centres in June to provide schools with tablets and laptops.

The school network has acquired approximately 200,000 devices in preparation for the start of the school year to date. Orders will continue over the next few weeks.

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With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise