HUYE - The National University of Rwanda (NUR) has embarked on a programme to equip students and staff with low cost computers.
The university rector professor Silas Lwakabamba, disclosed that NUR has held discussions over this programme with Tele 10, a local information technology company and the Rwanda Development Board’s information technology department (RDB-IT) .
“We are discussing with them, there is a lot of interest from students and staff and especially now that bigger bandwidth is coming through the fibre optic cable which should be in Rwanda in next few weeks.
I hope that we concretize the programme in due course,” Lwakabamba said.
“It is clear now that computers are becoming cheaper and cheaper, we realised that rather than get students and staff to buy their own computers we would instead buy them in bulk which would reduce the cost to about 200 to 300 dollars.”
The university has already signed an agreement with Tele 10 to supply low cost related ICT facilities to interested staff and students.
The university is also exploring the possibility of partnering with RDB-IT to purchase computers in bulk for students and staff who can get them at a fairly cost effective price. Students in this case could be allowed to pay over a period of time, according to the plan.
The recently introduced modular system of teaching and learning that is student centred requires sizable investment in ICT to facilitate learning which Lwakabamba acknowledged that this is still lacking within NUR.
“The current status of ICT provision within NUR is very poor. We are talking about one computer for about 16 students which is not very good.
The best thing to do is to reduce it to one to one. We can reduce it to 1- 8 if students and teachers can be assisted to get their own computers,” he said.
“The don said that such a move will also reduce the cost of putting up computer labs, maintaining them and the cost of hiring personnel for these computer labs.
“This does not mean that we will do a way with computer labs completely; they will be there only for special purposes.”