Over 14,000 laptops to be distributed to varsity students to improve learning

At least 14,000 computers are set to be distributed this academic year according to official. Photos by Michel Nkurunziza

ICT and Education Ministries have restarted the process to distribute laptops to varsity students.

At least 14,000 units are set to be distributed this academic year, officials said.

Delivering laptops to students at the University of Rwanda, Minister of ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire said the laptops will help students accomplish their studies perfectly.

The laptops were distributed as a loan to the students who are on the Government scholarship scheme and the payment costs of the laptop will be handled after the students graduate.

“This is an exercise that started in 2017, unfortunately it didn’t last due to the concerns that were being raised on the quality of these devices. We went back and talked to the people who were supplying the laptops and requested them to upgrade the specifications.

“As we resume this exercise today, we want to emphasise that we are giving better versions but also, we are going to improve the versions that we provide as an ongoing practice,” she said.

Ingabire said that any laptop that will have issues can be taken to repaire centres, some of which are at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRCs).

“The effort of resuming this exercise of distributing laptops is in line with the Government’s objective to shift from the teacher-centred methodology of learning to a more active student-centred learning experience,” she said.

The minister urged students with laptops to use them to do research, and have a better learning experience through online discussions that will give them feedback on the content and courses they are given.

 “Use these laptops as the platform through which you can develop apps. Let’s not only rely on the apps that have been provided, but also create your apps within the campus that will allow you to have a better learning experience,” said Ingabire.

Iris Kanobana, a student pursuing engineering and water resources at University of Rwanda, Nyarugenge campus, one of those who received a laptop, explained how beneficial the laptop will be for her.

“Many times we are given notes via email and we have to print them out because we do not have laptops. It is not easy. Now, my computer will help me keep my documents well,” she said.