Gyergyó-basin settlements step up to acquire needed equipment for online education

More than six months after the lockdown announcement and a summer overshadowed by COVID-19 infections in Romania, the government’s decision to move pupils and schooling online caught some officials unprepared. Local authorities in Gyergyószék (Gyergyó Seat), however, anticipated the move and were prepared to acquire laptops and tablets for children and teachers, reports Székelyhon.

Some settlements, such as Gyergyóalfalu, have partly solved the connectivity problem out of their own budget. In Gyergyóalfalu/Joseni, local authorities acquired 140 tablets; in Gyergyóremete/Remetea, 410; in Gyergyócsomafalva/Ciumani, 23; and in Gyergyóditró/Ditrău, 30. Meanwhile, Gyergyószárhegy/Lăzarea acquired 95 tablets and 9 laptops.

But that’s a far cry from the total number needed, which means that children without a device or internet connection are simply left without an education. This isn’t just a local issue; it applies to the whole country.

The local authorities in Gyergyószentmiklós/Gheorgheni requested 3,344 tablets, 402 laptops and other teaching tools in an application submitted to the government.

The total cost of this equipment would be RON 7.1 million (EUR 1.45 million). If their funding request is approved, all children and teachers in the area will be able to participate in online classes.

This request attempts to fill the gap between the supply of tablets, computers and internet subscriptions and the demand for these from children and teachers in the area. As of right now, since education has moved online, not everybody has the necessary tools to connect to the online education platform where classes are being held.

Title image: Online education. Image source: Pixabay

Author: István Fekete