File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Govt to provide laptops for NSFAS-funded students, says Blade

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 9, 2020

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Johannesburg - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says government's plans to provide NSFAS students with laptops will go out on tender and will see many universities and TVET college students supplied with devices to use during remote learning.

Nzimande was briefing on his department’s efforts to assist students and educational institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic - which has seen many students being forced to study from home.

The minister said following discussions with National Treasury, it was decided that the issue of procuring laptops for NSFAS students should go out on tender because of the large amounts involved in procuring the devices.

He said this approach would cause a delay in delivering the devices to students. Nzimande has asked that parents and students to be patient as the procurement process was underway.

“We are also finalising the process of verifying which NSFAS students have already  acquired devices, to avoid mistakenly issuing some students with more than one device. We urge for patience from both parents, staff and students. As we had said we are still committed that no student will be left behind in our effort to save the academic year,” the minister said.

Nzimande said 50% of universities had been able to provide their students with laptops, but he said the biggest issues was TVET colleges and that would be the focus of his department.

Another move by the department was providing students with access to data bundles so they can connect to online academic platforms.

Nzimande had announced at his last briefing that students would be provided with data bundles of 10 gigs day time data and 20 gigs night time data.
This provision has been done along with negotiations with mobile network operators.

There were also zero-rated department and public educational institution websites. So far, 586 educational websites will be free of charge. The list of zero-rated websites was available on the department’s website. 

Political Bureau

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