|A poor student in the Central Highlands Province of Đắk Lắk gets a laptop as gift from a local police unit. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái has agreed with the Finance Ministry’s proposal to help needy students with electronic devices to help them learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the ministry’s proposal, students from poor and near-poor families as well as those facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including students whose fathers or mothers have died of the disease, will be able to get loans to buy computers under support of the “computers and Internet services for children” programme.
According to the ministry, eligible students are those who have no computer and equipment for online study and have not yet received any support.
The People’s Committees of communes and wards are responsible to make and verify the lists of beneficiaries before submitting to the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies for approval.
The maximum value of the loans will be VNĐ7 million (US$307) per student, according to the proposal, which estimates that the total capital for the scheme is about VNĐ3.5 trillion ($153.86 million). The duration of the loans is under one year with a zero per cent interest rate.
Initially, resources for the scheme will come from the VNĐ7.5 trillion credit package that is being implemented by the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies, which was designed for employers to borrow to pay salaries for their employees but received few requests.
The finance ministry expects the disbursement period to last until the end of March next year.
The Deputy PM has assigned the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to coordinate with the Finance Ministry, the State Bank of Vietnam and agencies to work on supplementing the policy regarding the credit package and report to Government.
To date, only 25 provinces and cities out of 64 in the country have allowed in-person learning. The two biggest cities – Hà Nội and HCM City – still had no fixed dates for reopening of schools and students will continue with virtual studies until further notice. — VNS