Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has expressed the plans by the University to start giving Staff and Students Laptops at subsidized prices.
Prof Nawangwe, while on his twitter handle tweeted that the university is set to enter into a deal with global Technology giants, Microsoft, Dell and Google that will see students and staff receive laptops at subsidized prices.
“We are going to engage giant tech companies with Covid-19 education response initiatives to supply our staff and students with laptops at hugely subsidized rates. Priority will be tech companies we already work with including Microsoft, Google, and Dell.” Prof Nawangwe’s yesterday tweet.
The deal comes at a time when schools, tertiary institutions are on a long lockdown due to effects caused by the deadly corona virus and learners cannot access reading materials despite efforts by some local and international schools to establish E-learning technologies.
Its recalled that Makerere University recently penned into a mega deal with Uganda Telecom Companies such as MTN, Africell Telecom, Airtel to provide reading materials to its students at a free cost. By so doing, students can now access all university websites without data bundles required when connected on any of the networks above.
Although the univrsity entered a deal with Telecom companies to allow students access free services on its websites, the move seem unfavorable to students who do not have Personal computers and smartphones.
Prof Nawangwe is optimistic that when the all students have access to personal computers, learning would be made easier for both learners and teachers.
Providing Laptops and other reading materials to students at subsidies is not new in most of the Ugandan schools & institutions. At Uganda Christian University, the laptop policy allows learners and guardians get laptops at subsidized prices upon reporting for the First year. Parents & Guardians enter into an agreement with the university to pay the monies in installments. The policy is compulsory to only students without personal computers.
At the International University of East Africa (IUEA), and Victoria University, First year Students get free laptops upon paying to a certain agreed percentage of tuition fee.
Prof Nawangwe did not however disclose the terms upon which Staff and Students shall be allowed to receive laptops.
Some students and teaching staff members with a long nose for gossip however sensed that the university is likely to use the methodology which Uganda Christian University (UCU) is using in her Laptop policy.