"At any moment, 15,000 computers for the younger students are going to start arriving. Some schools may already receive them, others will receive them throughout the week,” said Filinto Lima, president of the National Association of Directors of Groupings and Public Schools (ANDAEP).

The decision to acquire this equipment was made public about a fortnight ago, when the Council of Ministers approved the authorisation of expenditure to buy computers and provide internet for needy pupils.

“This number of computers is a long way from meeting the needs of all needy pupils - those who have level A of School Social Support (ASE) - but it is already a help,” said Filinto Lima, who is also the director of a school group in Vila Nova de Gaia.

The 15,000 pieces of equipment that are now arriving at schools to be distributed to students now adds to the 100,000 that have already been delivered to needy secondary school students.

The government also expects the arrival of another 335,000 laptops, whose delivery is delayed due to supply problems.

There are more than a million students in Portugal in Primary and secondary education and the government plans to give each student a computer.

As happened last school year, pupils have returned to distance learning, which began a week and a half ago, and there is no date yet for the return to face-to-face teaching.