Mahatma Gandhi University, a leading University in online and distance education has launched a one laptop per student initiative to enhance academic experience and the use of technology in higher education.
Launched early this month in Kigali, at Kabuga Campus, the initiative is a major corporate social responsibility which aims at encouraging the use of ICT in the country as well as help the students at the campus have tools to succeed in online studies.
The University, which won several awards including the “excellence in distance education by SOE Global Education”, “best innovation in open and distance learning in the 2012 World Education Summit”,
Officials said that the university is taking a bold step in providing branded laptop for each student as part of its commitment in advancing the interest of President Paul Kagame’s Vision 2020 in setting ICT as a fundamental pillar of the Country’s strategy for nation-building.
“We recognize the cost of investing one laptop per student but this is one of our major corporate social responsibilities to provide our students, most of whom cannot afford to purchase a laptop, access to tools that are necessary in enhancing their academic experience and professional development,” noted the newly appointed Provost Dr. Vince Sinining.
Dr. Sinining, a 15-year veteran senior adviser on Education and Sustainable Development to select Permanent Missions at the United Nations in New York, was appointed as an experienced principal to advance further the university’s mission and vision of providing skills-based training to Rwandans for the socio-economic development of the country, according to the officials.
Dr. Varun Gupta, University Director said that every student who registers will receive a laptop as part of the learning materials they receive (such as textbooks, LMS, etc). “We are proud of the investment by our Chancellor, Dr. Rajan Chopra, in purchasing laptops for all our students, and in acquiring this multi-million dollar vast property and facilities here in Kabuga to provide a conducive environment to our students, not only in our online and distance education programs, but in our future face-to-face, on campus programs,” said Gupta
“We continue to maximize the potential of ICT in providing our students better academic experience as we continue our responsibilities as an institution of higher learning here in Rwanda.” He added
Provost Dr. Vince Sinining also announced the 100 Scholarships from Chancellor Dr. Rajan Chopra that will be awarded to deserving individuals, teachers, government and private sector employees, as well as special ICT and skills-based training programs for girls and women.
Students and District Officials have welcomed the initiative saying it will not only help in boosting ICT among the students but will also help them excel academically.
The programme will help students who could not affort to buy laptops acquire skills in ICT and excel in their academics, it will also match with government’s program of promoting technology and the university needs to keep up efforts aimed at promoting quality education,” said Adelphine Uwase, the Gasabo district officer in charge of education.