Keppel donates laptops for home-based learning to students from lower-income families

A child doing home-based learning. The 150 laptops will be distributed over the next few weeks as part of the initiative. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

SINGAPORE - Students from lower-income families will receive new laptops under the Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF) Community Link (ComLink) initiative to support their home-based learning.

The 150 laptops will be donated by Keppel Corporation and most, the firm said on Wednesday (June 9), will be distributed over the next few weeks as part of the initiative.

The remaining laptops will be used for academic and enrichment classes for students under ComLink community programmes.

Digital literacy workshops for students will also be conducted by staff volunteers from Keppel at two ComLink communities.

They will learn how to operate laptops and use collaboration tools, which will help in their home-based learning.

Keppel's donation is part of its $4.2 million care package announced in 2020 to support communities affected by Covid-19.

The group has contributed about $5 million to support global efforts in fighting Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In March, it donated $300,000 to the Infocomm Media Development Authority's Digital for Life Fund in March 2021 to help equip lower-income seniors with digital tools to connect with their communities.

Chief executive of Keppel Care Foundation Ho Tong Yen said that Covid-19 has accelerated long-term trends in digitalisation and e-learning, which he believes will continue post-pandemic.

"In providing access to digital learning tools and promoting digital literacy, we hope to support the education needs of students from lower-income families, especially during periods of home-based learning to curb the spread of the pandemic," Mr Ho said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua thanked Keppel for its support, noting that its efforts will go a long way in helping students in need.

"Building an inclusive society is a collective effort. We encourage other corporates and donors to step forward to do the same, and journey with MSF and our community partners as we build a caring community where no one is left behind," Mr Chua said.

Other companies have also supported vulnerable groups in the past year, including global mining firm BHP which donated care packs to beneficiary families under the Childrens' Cancer Foundation. The non-profit group, Engineering Good, collected and distributed pre-owned laptops donated by individuals.

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