The Covid-19 pandemic has forced teachers and students around the world to make an abrupt transition from classrooms to remote learning as schools, universities, and other educational centres were closed. Many communities in Asia were not prepared for this sudden change, but the Ismaili community in the Far East have helped to smooth the transition.

The Jamat of Singapore partnered with Yayasan Mendaki to increase access to technology for students from low-income families. With the closure of schools during the pandemic, many schools shifted to remote learning, which put children and students from underprivileged homes at a disadvantage as they were less likely to have the technological resources required to receive education virtually.

The drive was spearheaded by Yayasan Mendaki, a self-help group that works to uplift the Malay Muslim community by helping individuals receive education and training. Families from the Singapore Jamat donated 47 pre-used laptops to support this initiative through Ismaili CIVIC. These devices were then reformatted and distributed to children from underprivileged backgrounds to support their access to remote and online education programmes.

Member for Education on the Ismaili Council for the Far East, Shemin Shariff, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of technology, and education is no exception. Access to technology and remote learning is integral to reducing inequality and improving quality of life. We are proud to collaborate with Yayasan Mendaki in this initiative which will help children from underprivileged backgrounds continue their education remotely during these challenging times and harness their potential.”