17 December 2020 - NW3002
Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology
With reference to the reply to question 2458 on 9 November 2020, what are the reasons that Esayidi Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) College received no funding for laptops considering that most of the attendant students hail from rural areas and impoverished circumstances and thus have limited to no access to resources to continue their academic work during the COVID-19 lockdown period; (2) whether he has been informed that Esayidi TVET students have not received laptops; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, on what date will Esayidi TVET receive funding for (a) data and (b) laptops?
(1) The Department has not received any funding from the National Treasury to provide laptops to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students. NSFAS has advised that there are savings from previous years of unutilised bursary funding that will cover the cost of laptops for NSFAS recipients in TVET colleges. The procurement of laptops by NSFAS is still underway and it is expected that these laptops will be distributed in the 2021 academic year once the process of identifying qualifying students has been completed.
(2) Going forward a proposal has been made that there should be a baseline increase in NSFAS funding for TVET colleges to accommodate this cost. Furthermore, TVET colleges will have to incorporate some funding into their annual budgets to cater for gadgets for new students entering the system. Given the relatively shorter time that some students spend in TVET colleges, a loan system might be considered by colleges to make the availability of devices to students affordable and sustainable. All TVET colleges will therefore be required to develop an institutional policy for the provision and/or loan of devices to students. The above response covers the distribution of laptops to NSFAS recipients in all TVET colleges and the anticipated period for distribution of these laptops.