COLLEGE students in West Dunbartonshire are benefitting from new laptops to help them continue learning despite the pandemic.

Government guidelines for Covid-19 are limiting all but essential activities at West College Scotland’s (WCS) local campus in Clydebank and more learning has been moved online.

The college is using about 2,800 laptops and Chromebooks to help with the mixture of on-campus and remote learning. Students are also using Microsoft Teams to help keep connected and a group of computing students as technical support.

Angela Pignatelli, assistant principal for creativity and skills, said: “We are pleased to have received funding to enable us to buy some digital devices to loan to our students throughout the duration of their studies.

“It is so important, in these most challenging of times, that we maximise the opportunity to guarantee students can engage with their learning and are that they are supported in their digital needs including the development of their digital capabilities.

“We are immensely proud of how well they are coping and proud too of our staff who are adapting so positively to this new way of teaching, learning and working.”

The college has adapted buildings to allow social distancing, smaller class sizes and the use of face coverings in public spaces and sanitising stations.

They aim to minimise the number of students and staff on campus at any time.

WCS delayed the start of the 2020-21 academic year to allow last year’s students to finish practical elements of courses and get qualifications put on hold by the spring lockdown.

Most students have since completed their work and there will be an online graduation for them this month to help celebrate their achievements.

Funding for the new devices for students came through the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council.