HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has partnered with Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and World Vision Taiwan to launch a program that provides computers and financial education to children in remote areas.
Local schools shifted to online classes in May when the government imposed a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, but many children in remote areas could not take the classes as they lacked computers or digital devices due to their economic situation, World Vision Taiwan acting director Yvonne Nieh (聶海華) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Up to 83 percent of low-income families in Taiwan did not have Internet access at home, and 43 percent of children in low-income families did not have digital devices, a survey conducted by World Vision Taiwan earlier this year showed.
Photo courtesy of HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd
“In some cases, there was only one computer in a family, which was not enough as the children have to take classes at the same time,” Nieh said.
This limited the children’s access to online learning resources and put them at risk of lagging behind their peers, HSBC Taiwan said.
Children’s right to education should not be impeded by a lack of computers, it added.
As part of the program, the bank would donate 250 notebook computers to children in remote areas, such as Penghu and Pingtung County, while Asustek, one of the bank’s corporate clients, would donate 128 computers for distribution through World Vision Taiwan, the companies said.
Nieh said that World Vision Taiwan sends iPads to elementary-school students, and computers or notebooks for those who attend high school or college.
Besides donating computers, HSBC Taiwan offers financial education to children in remote areas, as solid financial knowledge would help them become independent, HSBC Bank Taiwan chief executive officer Adam Chen (陳志堅) said.
“In our education program, we teach basic financial knowledge, such as foreign exchange or banks’ everyday operations, to the children as it is useful. Some children have never used automatic-teller machines,” Chen said.
Sixty children had attended the education program this year, the bank said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, HSBC had invited children to its physical branches and gave them guided tours so that they could see how a bank operates, Chen said.
A total of 900 children had attended the tours, the bank said.
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