Mexico City – The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on Tuesday announced that it will distribute 20,000 tablets among its students with financial problems so that they can start the new remote learning school year, which is a challenge for many students.
According to a survey conducted by the institution, UNAM has approximately 350,000 students at all educational levels, of which 34% do not have a computer and 14% do not have internet at home.
For this reason, and given that classes will be held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university has developed a support plan to facilitate remote learning by improving student’s connectivity.
The main initiative of this plan is the acquisition of 20,000 tablets to lend to low-income students, which will be distributed as the university acquires them.
All the faculties and schools of the UNAM, as well as the baccalaureate centers, will make the infrastructure of the existing computer centers available to their students, so that they can access them once the sanitary conditions allow it.
In addition, seven PC Puma centers for the loan of tablets and computers will be installed in different areas of the University such as the Exhibition Center, the MUCA and the Central Library of the university campus; at the Tlatelolco University Cultural Center and at the FES Acatlán, FES Zaragoza and FES Iztacala faculties of higher studies, with around 1,000 devices connected to the internet. Once the epidemiological traffic light is yellow, students will be able to go to the nearest PC Puma Center and use the computers.
The university added that the strengthening of the internet network will continue in all the university’s faculties, schools and campuses, in order to improve the scope, speed and quality of the service. In addition, the university’s financial support scholarship program “will be strengthened” to avoid, as far as possible, school dropouts.
The online training courses that various university instances impart to faculty will be maintained to improve their educational capabilities with technology and distance education. To date, around 6,500 teachers have already been trained.
All of the above measures are aimed at facilitating equal opportunities among its 350,000 students, particularly those who come from families with limited resources or those who have been economically affected by the pandemic.