Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, plans to spend almost 6 billion tenge (over $14.3 million) on buying computers for schoolchildren, Akim (mayor of the city) Altay Kulginov claimed on air of the Astana TV channel.
According to the city administrator, about 1.5 million schoolbooks for a sum of 2.3 billion tenge (about $5.5 million) have already been purchased.
“There are questions about computers, considering the need for distance learning. There are low-income families who can’t afford to buy computers. For these purposes, money has been allocated. Most of it comes to us. We have allocated 6 billion tenge from local and republican budgets just for buying computers,” Kulginov said.
These funds are planned to purchase nearly 35,000 computers. The equipment will be primarily received by orphans, children with special needs, low-income families and large families.
“They will be given to socially vulnerable population groups who can’t afford to buy computers. We have already received such requests. If a family has more than five children, they will receive two computers. This will help greatly in the period of distance learning,” the akim clarified.
He reminded the audience that this year, to avoid putting children at risk and worsening the epidemiological situation, it was decided to start learning remotely.
According to the akim, this year, more than 200,000 schoolchildren of the capital will be studying remotely, of which nearly 25,000 children are in elementary school.
“We are also preparing for the regular school year. There are low-income families, so in accordance with universal education we will help with buying school uniforms. Last year the sum was 30,000 tenge per one school kid. This year, the sum has been raised to 40,000 tenge. If last year 6,000 children received such help, this year, their number will be around 13,000,” Kulginov noted.
After the new coronavirus was discovered in Kazakhstan and the state of emergency was declared, schoolchildren and students were transferred to distance learning. School lessons were conducted over the Internet and television. The first quarter of the new academic year will continue in the same format.
* The tenge-dollar exchange rate is 418.9 KZT = 1 USD as of August 13.