In Slovakia, up to 20.000 pupils can pick up their new laptop or tablet

The digital contribution to purchase a new laptop, tablet or all-in-one computer is of great interest among primary and secondary school pupils. Already this month, as part of the Digital Pupil project, up to 20000 pupils will be able to benefit from a contribution of EUR 350 to purchase a new digital device. The joint project of the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Informatisation of the Slovak Republic (MIRRI SR) and the Digital Coalition is thus brought to its decisive stage.

“Two months ago, together with the Digital Coalition, we launched the Digital Student project. Thanks to this unique support scheme for primary and secondary school pupils, more than 152000 schoolchildren will receive a contribution from EU funds to purchase the computing they need for their education. The best proof of the usefulness of this project is the huge interest in the digital contribution – to date more than 52000 pupils have already signed up for the project. This week, the project moved to the next phase. The first hundred secondary school pupils have already received verification codes allowing them to claim a contribution of EUR 350 in selected shops when purchasing their digital equipment,” said Veronika REMIŠ, Minister for Informatisation.

The pilot phase includes the pupils of quinces and the first grades in the schools of the Gymnazium Metodova, the Second Industrial School of Engineering in Bratislava – “Fajnorka” and the Central Industrial School of Electrotechnical – “Adlerka”. The first hundred pupils of these secondary schools can buy a notebook, a keyboard tablet or an all-in-one computer in one of the 16 e-shops involved in the pilot phase of the project. In a sharp phase of the project, which will be launched by the Digital Coalition by the end of May, an additional 20000 pupils will receive their verification codes. They will be able to pick up their equipment in more than 500 shops all over Slovakia.

‘The verification of the data of pupils and their legal representatives in the various national registers takes place smoothly, but gradually. For this reason, on Thursday, we launched a pilot phase for sending validation SMS codes, where we also test the functionality of the systems on a smaller group of pupils. In the coming days, we will start sending the codes to other, more numerous groups of pupils. Cooperation with individual ministries, municipalities, schools and other partners is proving to be effective – our common goal is to help as many pupils as possible, and I am looking forward to gradually succeeding in this,” explains Mário Lelovský, President of the Digital Coalition.

The Digital Student contribution is intended for primary and secondary school pupils from socially weaker backgrounds and households not exceeding 60 % of the median household income in Slovakia. All current first-time secondary school students and pupils of the fifth year in eight-year-old secondary schools are also eligible for the allowance. Pupils and their legal representatives can apply for an allowance of EUR 350 by the end of June.

“Digital skills are essential to make full use of all the opportunities offered by today’s digital era. Regrettably, today, many pupils do not have the necessary digital equipment to fully prepare themselves to study from home in order to develop their digital skills to the maximum extent possible. We believe that the project will help substantially increase the availability of digital devices for all pupils, regardless of their background. The record interest of pupils and parents confirms that the contribution to a new, high-quality laptop or tablet is a targeted help for pupils and households,” adds Lelova. The national project for a total value of EUR 65.4 million is financed by the Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure from Priority Axis 7 Information Society, which is in charge of MIRRI SR and serves the digitisation of Slovakia.

“In the past, the money earmarked for digitisation by oligarchs went to overpriced IT projects, we from EU funds help families and invest money in the skills and future of children in Slovakia. We promised to use EU funds for useful and meaningful solutions to help people. This is exactly the Digital Student project. Our courageous project aims to ensure that all pupils and students are prepared for digital times and can be successfully used for further studies or jobs. Together, we make a successful Slovakia, where people in all regions will have good work and European quality of life,” added REMIŠOVÁ.

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