IT support will be provided to students in case of new school closures
In the event of the full closure of one or more schools, each school service centre, school board and private educational institution will rely on its emergency protocol, which they were required to put in place for planning the rapid organization and implementation of educational services in the event of a closure. Unlike last spring, students will continue to learn new content, rather than simply consolidating prior learning.
School service centres and school boards are responsible for lending the necessary equipment to students who do not have it at home in order to ensure that these students can continue to learn remotely. To support educational institutions in acquiring equipment and lending it to students, the Ministry of Education has made additional funding available to the network. As announced in August, the Quebec government has set up an emergency computer equipment reserve of 30,000 devices (15,000 tablets and 15,000 laptops) to support the education network in its efforts. This equipment is intended for students who cannot attend school in person and who do not have their own equipment at home. School service centres and school boards may use this equipment if they are unable to meet students’ needs with their own inventory or orders. According to the Portages-de-l’Outaouais school service centre (CSSPO), although not all parents have yet completed the survey to inform them of their technology needs, based on the survey results and the national average technology needs of 30% according to the Education Ministry data, there is every indication that sufficient equipment is available. Based on the results of the survey, each school must reserve one device for each student who requires it in case of confinement.
School service centres and school boards will also provide IT support to students and parents who require assistance in using technological equipment and digital tools. This IT support service will be available to students who have borrowed equipment and attend a school under the jurisdiction of a service centre or school board that is subscribed to this service, as well as to their parents.
The CSSPO told the Bulletin that it has received MIFI LTE routers and LTE IPADs to provide Internet access for families who have requested it. It also said that their Information Technology Department currently offers remote technical support, and that the techno pedagogical support team of their Educational Resources Department also offers support. At the Des Draveurs school service centre, a technical support line has been set up for parents.
Families remain responsible for establishing and paying for an Internet connection. Students may download educational materials using a public Internet hotspot or their school’s Wi-Fi connection. Institutions may also provide students with LTE mobile Internet keys.
The Education Ministry is also taking steps to establish a call centre to help organizations in the network with their efforts in this regard.
[Local Journalism Initiative]