PAD gives free laptops to low-income families for online learning

The campaign has helped children from 75 families attend online classes

The aim of the initiative is to help pupils be a part of online education in place due to school closures amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Pakistan Association Dubai launched the ‘Tech Drive’ campaign on May 9 after many needy families requested for electronic devices as their children were cut off from schools.

The campaign has helped 75 families in the emirate by donating free laptops to help pupils stay connected with their teachers and peers as they continue with the online programme.

Laptops or iPads have become essential education tools since remote learning was introduced nationwide in March.

Many families in the country did not have access to computers, which is crucial to facilitating online education.

The Rehman family in Dubai, for example, shared one laptop among three children as they struggled to attend all of their virtual classes.

“All of my three daughters were really behind their studies because they were using this very old laptop that we have and my mobile phone to check their emails and talk to their teachers. We had to choose who would get to attend their online class,” said Ms. Rehman, who is a Pakistani homemaker.

Her husband earns Dh7,000 as an accountant in a construction firm. She said they were already struggling with house rent and other payments and could not afford to spend more.
Her daughters, aged eight to 14, attend a Pakistani School in Duabi and had to skip several online lessons.

“My daughters have their own devices now and they can attend all of their online classes. It’s a huge relief.”

The Sarmad family in Dubai is another beneficiary of the campaign and have received laptops for her two children.

Salaar, 13 and Saif bin Sarmad, 11, had to use their mother’s mobile phone to communicate with their teachers. “We didn’t have a laptop, desktop or an iPad,” said Arshia Sarmad, the Pakistani mother of the two boys.

“It was almost like their education had completely stopped because they didn’t really have proper online access to their teachers or studies.”

Ms Sarmard’s husband earns Dh5,000 monthly as an instructor at a driving school but is on unpaid leave now. Buying a new electronic device was “impossible” for them as they struggled with outstanding payments on house rent for their one-bedroom apartment in dubai and school fees.
“We are grateful for receiving these laptops,” said Ms Sarmad.

    Pakistan Association Dubai. , Street 11b, Oud Metha Road,
    Bur Dubai ,
    United Arab Emirates
    04 2305000
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