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Until 10 April, a special regulation suspends academic education in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and makes remote learning compulsory. In this situation Minister Jaroslaw Gowin has appealed to mobile network operators to grant free access to data transfer to students and doctoral students. The first telecoms react pro-socially.
Closure of the university due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Today (26.03.2020), the regulation on temporary limitation of the functioning of certain entities of the higher education system and science in connection with preventing and combating COVID-19 enters into force. The regulation was signed on 23 March by the Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw Gowin. Under the regulation, until April 10th, education at studies, post-graduate studies and other forms of education at universities supervised by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education is suspended.
In order to reduce the effects of temporary suspension of classes, an obligation for online classes has been introduced in parallel – regardless of whether this is provided for in the curriculum. This requirement applies to universities and doctoral student training units which have the option of providing distance learning. The verification of learning outcomes may take place outside the seat of the institution – using information technology.
The Minister’s appeal to operators for free data transfer
In connection with the above mentioned regulation, Jaroslaw Gowin informed that he asked mobile network operators to grant free access to data transfer to students and doctoral students. His appeal was motivated by the fact that everyone should have an equal chance to participate in online teaching during the announced state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solidarity of telecoms during a pandemic
Today, i.e. March 26th, T-Mobile was the first to respond to the Minister’s appeal. In a letter addressed to Jaroslaw Gowin, the operator declared that the e-learning platforms indicated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education can include the so-called zero-rating traffic into the group. This means that no Internet fees will be charged when using them.
The next answer is Orange. In a letter to the Minister, the operator assured that it is in the process of preparing a solution that will allow students and PhD students to use Orange Flex for PLN 1 per month for two months. This means that even 200 GB of data transfer will be available for studying via the Internet.
Even today or in the following days we expect similar movements within the framework of solidarity and social responsibility on the part of Play and Cyfrowy Polsat Group.