German foundation donates $600,000 in laptops
Laptops will be bought for 1,600 primary-school pupils after a donation from a German foundation.
The Hasso Plattner Foundation made the contribution after it emerged some children did not have access to devices for remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Education minister Diallo Rabain set up a partnership with the organisation after meeting with billionaire philanthropist Hasso Plattner last year.
The donation of €500,000 equates to $590,000 and will fund 73 per cent of the laptops needed for primary-school students.
Mr Rabain said: “With the increased focus and dependency on technology in society today, and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not only important but also a necessity to ensure all students have equal access to technology.”
Bermuda's plan for public school education, Plan 2022, calls for a modernised learning environment with “cutting-edge technological tools” to help prepare children for life in a global economy.
Plan 2022 also urges the education ministry to partner with the private sector and donors to support schools with instructional resources, technology and other programmes.
Mr Rabain said he discussed the need for laptops when he met with Mr Plattner in 2019.
The minister said: “I am delighted to have forged a partnership with the Hasso Plattner Foundation. It is important for the Bermuda Public School System to encourage and foster more partnerships of this kind, both locally and internationally.
“The success of our students, and ultimately the public-school system, is intricately linked to the future success of Bermuda.”
He added: “I thank Hasso Plattner, the Hasso Plattner Foundation and all local corporate donors who have helped our public schools during these difficult times.
“Their generosity is truly appreciated by the ministry, department, students, parents and staff as their contributions will help our students to realise their potential as we make gains with modernising the learning environment.”
The Hasso Plattner Foundation was established in 2015 in Potsdam, Germany, after Mr Plattner signed the Giving Pledge initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.
It aims to “accelerate the adoption of digital technologies through science and education, improve access to art and culture, and support environmental conservation”.
Mr Plattner is one of the founders of SAP, an enterprise software company and founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering.