02 June 2021 - NW1387
Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
What provisions has he made to provide laptops for students who have had to adapt to distance learning as a result of the pandemic?
A number of institutions have put in place mechanisms to provide electronic devices to students. The extent to which students who needed laptops were supported to obtain these varied widely across universities, from 0% or close thereto for three institutions, to over 70% for 18 institutions. The average across the system in February 2021 was that 74% of students who required laptops were supported to obtain one, including 66% of NSFAS students. This was reported by institutions in the bi-monthly monitoring reports submitted to the Department.
In addition, the NSFAS has ordered the first batch of 170 000 laptops for NSFAS funded university and TVET college students. The timeline for the delivery of laptops has been hampered by the worldwide shortage of components to build laptops. Despite this, 7 300 laptops have been received and distribution will commence in the second week of June 2021. A consignment of 63 000 laptops are expected throughout June 2021.