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Government committed to supporting students from grass-roots families for Internet learning at home
     In response to commentaries and concerns on the Government's support for students from grassroots families to facilitate e-learning, a Government spokesman today (March 11) said that great importance has been attached in this regard with the implementation of a range of ongoing initiatives.

     Among various initiatives, the Community Care Fund (CCF) has implemented an assistance programme on Provision of Subsidy to Needy Primary and Secondary Students for Purchasing Mobile Computer Devices to Facilitate the Practice of e-Learning from the 2018/19 school year for three years to relieve the financial burden on students from low-income families under the development of the Bring Your Own Device policy on campus. The spokesman stressed that every eligible child in these families can benefit from this CCF programme and there is no limit on the number of beneficiaries. In other words, "one computer per student" can be provided.

     In addition, the Student Finance Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency and the Social Welfare Department have been disbursing subsidies under the Subsidy Scheme for Internet Access Charges (SIA) to eligible families since the 2010/11 school year. The rate of the SIA is adjusted regularly with reference to prevailing market fees of Internet access services. The current full rate at $1,500 per year should provide adequate support for students from grass-roots families to subscribe to basic Internet plans provided by operators of fixed or mobile telecoms services.

     Furthermore, the Government has all along been promoting tripartite collaboration among the community, the Government and the business sector to create beneficial synergy in society. The Government welcomes the Bandwidth Support for E-learning at Home Scheme launched by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, covering students living in subdivided units, old buildings and remote areas who may not have access to high-speed Internet services. More non-governmental organisations, charities or enterprises fulfilling their corporate social responsibility are encouraged to join hands to provide support to students from grassroots families on e-learning.
Ends/Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Issued at HKT 19:26
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