The Hauts-de-Seine department will provide a laptop for 20,000 middle school students

Contrary to popular belief, the province of Hauts-de-Seine, like other regions considered less “rich”, is affected by the digital divide. A phenomenon highlighted at the time of first booking in March 2020. Everyone at home or almost and sometimes one computer for the whole family to work remotely, follow courses remotely, consult homework … with the only alternative a mobile phone to monitor education.

To get around these difficulties, the county council decided to provide a laptop computer to about a quarter of middle school students, depending on the family’s quotient. About 20,000 students are anxious.

During the first reservation, the administration had already given the go-ahead to the territory’s colleges to make the institutions’ equipment available to families. In total, approximately 5,000 laptops or central units with a screen were loaned out during the first hold and roughly the same number in April 2021 during the second period. Added to this are donations of 650 recycled computers and 2,600 digital tablets for students with special needs in Ulis classes (translated units for inclusive education).

François Antoine, whose two children were educated in the sixth and third grade at the École Jean Massé, in Clichy, was already able to take advantage of the provision of a stationary computer. At the beginning of the year he had completed the establishment’s questionnaire about the level of equipment in his home. “During the first reservation, we bought a tablet so my eldest daughter could take lessons,” he recalls, before continuing: “My son was in primary school and took lessons by mail, but since this year he also needs a computer since we don’t have one in the home “. Equipment was provided in December that his son would be able to keep during college. “It is really a very good initiative to educate the pupils,” confirms the father of the family.

11.5 million euros annual budget

“At the end of these loans, some families wanted to keep equipment and new needs were identified, by awarding new grants to foundations,” explains Natalie Leandre, Vice President of the Department in charge. from colleges. She continues, “From this experience, we have decided that the department will continue to support families who are in dire need by circulating the loan to laptop computer students throughout their studies.”

The department has made the choice to target the device: only families with an average score of less than 790 are eligible. This broadly corresponds to those who do not pay the full price (4.28 euros) for catering in colleges. “Most families have already submitted the documents for the canteen, so all you have to do is apply on the Pass+ website without having to submit additional supporting documents,” says Nathalie Léandri. First applications can be submitted in a few days and families will receive the equipment directly at home within a month of being validated.

The department estimates that 25% of students qualify, or about 20,000 students. This corresponds to a budget of approximately 11.5 million per year, if all students apply, or 575 euros per computer. “These are the same teacher models and department models,” the vice president identifies, emphasizing that they are “above all else material for work.”

“We are working with the national education system on content and applications,” continues Nathalie Léandri. A detail to be reckoned with: High school students in the Ile-de-France region, who are offered a laptop when they return to second place, are turning to a model that doesn’t offer all the features they had hoped for.

“This is excellent news because there is a very strong demand from families,” replied Florence Leclerc, director of the Jean Massey College in Clichy, who has loaned about sixty computers to each location. “But a quarter of eligible families do much better for an institution like mine, which has 850 students,” he analyzes. With just one caveat: “Another concern families might have is internet subscription. Because obviously without a connection, computers are less useful.” According to the department, this will represent 1,000 university students.

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