GDOE: Students will have to eventually return laptops

Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, GDOE procured laptops for students in need who were using the online model of learning. (PNC file photo)

Guam Department of Education students who were given laptops for online learning would have to eventually return them now that GDOE is in face-to-face learning mode.

GDOE deputy superintendent Joe Sanchez said there are about 6,000 to 7,000 laptops out there and it is understandable that returning all of them at the same time would not be an easy thing to do.

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“So, it’s not that simple to say ‘hey, everybody, return the 6000 laptops that we distributed.’ This is another reason why we’re trying to be methodical,” Sanchez said.

According to the deputy superintendent, some schools have already gotten 100 percent of their laptops back.

“Yes, we’re receiving laptops, as we speak. But all these laptops have to be tagged, they have to be stored, and they have to be prepared to distribute to wherever they’re going to go on campus. That’s something that takes not just one day,” Sanchez pointed out.

He added that the longer the students keep the laptops, the more the chances are for damage or theft.

“We are already receiving reports of laptops that are being damaged and stolen. Now, of course, there are some parents that have already returned their laptops. Parents are willing to return the laptops already and schools are not turning them away, they’re going to accept them,” Sanchez said.

Based on the number that GDOE is trying to use insurance on, Sanchez said there are about 100 GDOE-issued laptops that are damaged.

“It’s a much lower number than we were prepared for. We’re very happy about that. But again, that’s really just based on those who are trying to claim the insurance that we have on them. But there may be more, there may be more that are not yet reported. The schools have to do their checks with the students who currently have the laptops. But right now, what’s been reported to my office is about 100,” Sanchez said.