August 2020 - Colleagues from delaware Singapore rolled up their sleeves and got down to work to give back to society. Armed with protective gloves, masks and cleaning alcohol, the group took it upon themselves to clean, repair, and install the latest computer software on multiple retired company laptops.
These laptops will be donated to a local non-profit, ‘The Hut’. The Hut is a drop-in centre where children and youth from the Marine Parade district can spend their time after school. These laptops will find their new home at the centre’s IT corner, where students and youth can access them to familiarise and equip themselves with computer skills while enhancing their digital literacy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore government implemented an island-wide circuit breaker measure where schools were temporarily shut down. Typical classroom lessons were shifted online and be conducted from home. While many students cheered to the news of staying home, there were over 4000 individual students in Singapore who did not have computers or tablets at home and was unable to resume lessons like many of their peers.
Some of the donated laptops will be under a leasing-out scheme, where students can bring them back home for home-based learning. Families with multiple children will benefit from this as they might only have a single computer for the whole family. “I like this initiative a lot” Zhi Wei, partner at delaware Singapore commented, “especially after coming to realise that there are still many less fortunate children in Singapore who lack a working laptop (no need the greatest and fastest), which they badly need as part of the home-based learning during this COVID-19 period.”
“The laptops from delaware came at a very handy time” Justina Quek, programme manager at The Hut said, “Technology and computer skills have become indispensable to children in this day and age. Having the right tools and access is the first step. The ultimate goal is to spur these youths to become makers and innovators for tomorrow.”