The recent global COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions to the world economy and society. In Singapore, our economy took a big hit, we went into the circuit breaker phase on 7th April 2020, many Singaporeans started to work from home (WFH) and home based learning (HBL) for the school children. During this circuit breaker period, the challenges faced by low-income families were brought to Singapore’s attention. TPG Telecom, Singapore’s fourth telco, is providing its 50GB SIM-ONLY plans and mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) routers to support low-income families who are affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Students from low-income families are currently facing issues taking part in home-based learning (HBL) programmes due to the lack of laptops and access to the Internet. With the SIM cards and Mi-Fi routers, which can be set up easily and quickly, the students will be able to go online and take part in HBL programmes to continue their learning.
TPG is working with social enterprises, non-profit organisations and schools like Viva Kids, TOUCH Community Service, Engineering Good, 6th Sense and Stamford Primary School to provide high speed 4G connectivity. To date, TPG has reached out to over 800 recipients, with more requests coming in.
Richard Tan, Acting CEO and General Manager of TPG, said, “We are reaching out to ensure that underprivileged students are not left behind in this crisis. We are gratified in being able to work with organisations that are engaged with the underserved communities so that students can continue their studies efficiently.”
Focusing on helping children from low-income families and migrant workers
Viva Kids Pte Ltd is a social enterprise which operates the KidsExcel programme, a sports and academic development programme for primary school students. Viva Kids currently serves 700 students under the Ministry of Education’s Financial Assistance Scheme. When the COVID-19 circuit breaker kicked in, Viva Kids immediately put together a digital plan for its KidsExcel programme, which was originally held in partner schools, community centres and social agencies. As some students do not have the means to access the Internet, they are unable to continue their KidsExcel programmes online. TPG has provided these students SIM cards so that they can continue their learning.
TPG has also supported TOUCH Community Services, Engineering Good and 6th Sense to help children by providing SIM cards and Mi-Fis to students so that they can take part in the HBL programmes.
The provision of 50GB SIM-ONLY plans and mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) routers by TPG to support children from low-income families and migrant workers who are affected by the COVID-19 crisis are kind and very helpful especially to those children from low-income families and migrant workers in Singapore. During this circuit breaker situation arising from the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, the plight of low-income families without computers/laptops and internet access showed how difficult it can be for them during HBL for the school children.
In this unprecedented crisis, let’s all do our part to help one another as much as we could. Do Pass It On and Pay It Forward! If you have a community cause and would like to reach out to TPG, please drop TPG an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Information courtesy of TPG Telecom and GLOO PR *