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Community Care Fund Assistance Programme - Provision of Subsidy to Needy Primary and Secondary Students for Purchasing Mobile Computer Devices to Facilitate the Practice of e-Learning

 

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Background and Objectives

The Education Bureau (EDB) has launched the Fourth Strategy on IT in Education in the 2015/16 school year and established WiFi campus for all public schools to facilitate e-learning through the use of mobile computer devices. A number of schools have adopted the "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policy to further exploit the advantages of using mobile computer devices in learning. As the development of BYOD may create financial burden on students from low-income families, the Community Care Fund (CCF) has implemented this Assistance Programme, starting from the 2018/19 school year for three years, to subsidize needy primary and secondary students studying in public sector schools to purchase mobile computer devices.

  

Eligible Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of the Assistance Programme must fulfill the following requirements:

1. studying in government, aided (including special schools), caput, Direct Subsidy Scheme primary or secondary schools, and receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) from the Social Welfare Department or full grant/half grant of the School Textbook Assistance Scheme from the Student Financial Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency; and 
2. studying in schools and classes implementing e-learning and adopting BYOD.

  

Use of Subsidy

During the three-year implementation period, each eligible student will receive the subsidy for purchase of a mobile computer device once*. The amount of the subsidy will cover the cost of the mobile computer device, mobile computer device management system to be installed on the device, basic accessories (e.g. screen shields and protective covers) and a three-year warranty.

 

*When a student beneficiary is promoted or has changed to a new school using a different device and the original device could not meet the learning needs in the new school, the beneficiary could then apply for an additional subsidy for purchasing a new device. In such case, the student concerned is required to return the used device to the original school.

 

Level of Subsidy

For students receiving CSSA/full grant, subsidy will be provided to cover the full cost of the device and items mentioned above. In the first year of the Assistance Programme, the maximum subsidy for each student is $4,500. In other words, the subsidy provided is the actual cost of the items or $4,500, whichever is lower. For students receiving half grant, the subsidy provided is half of the actual cost of the items up to $2,250. The maximum level of subsidy will be adjusted annually according to the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index. In the 2020/21 school year, the maximum subsidy for CSSA/full grant students is $4,740. For students receiving half grant, the subsidy provided is half of the actual cost of the items up to $2,370.

  

Disbursement Arrangements

To ensure that funding from the CCF is used directly to subsidise needy primary and secondary students for purchasing mobile computer devices to facilitate e-learning, the subsidy will be disbursed to schools for purchasing the devices for their students. In the light of the design of respective e-learning programmes and the needs of students, schools can determine their own device specifications and make bulk purchase on behalf of their students.

  

Implementation Period

Since schools are at different stages of implementing e-learning, and have their own policy and time-table, they can participate in the Assistance Programme accordingly by phases during the three years implementation period starting from the 2018/19 school year. For details, please refer to the following EDB Circular Memorandum:

  

Enquiries

For enquiries, please contact the IT in Education Section of the Education Bureau at 3698 3670 or 3698 4149.