HALIFAX -- New Brunswick announced Wednesday that it has purchased $860,000 worth of technology to support at-home learning in the province.

“The fact remains that we are still living through a global pandemic, that is why we are still not planning on reopening school for the 2019-20 year," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy during a news conference. “While I am incredibly proud of the excellent work our educators have undertaken to support home learning, we recognize this learning model has left some students at a disadvantage."

Cardy says the province has purchased $860,000 worth of technology to help support students with at-home learning, including:

  • 1,000 iPads with data plans
  • 500 laptops
  • 300 'MiFi hubs' for students who do not have access to internet at home

"Over the last month the department has been working with teachers and school districts across the province to determine what technology could help them with at-home learning," said Cardy. “In an attempt to provide more equitable access to home learning options, these devices will be loaned to students for the coming months. These measures will support home learning and help families stay connected.”

Students will have the devices delivered to their homes, and are expected to return them at a designated date. Deliveries are expected to begin soon, but Cardy said the deliveries are slowed down due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"This investment will help us to level the playing field and make sure students have equal opportunities for at-home learning," said Cardy. "Not only is this technology going to help students in the coming months, it will help us build a world-class and connected education system for the future."

The investment is coming from within the regular education budget, using unused funds previously marked for school buses and meals to cover the purchase.