Jkuat to earn big from laptop sales to new students – Daily Nation

By OUMA WANZALA
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A public university is once again set to make hundreds of millions of shillings from new students through its controversial laptop programme.

The 4,994 first-years under the government sponsored programme are set to report to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) on Monday to the start of their academic year.

Fresh students are each required to pay for a laptop.

Last year, there was a push and pull between the administration and parents over the Taifa laptop with many parents claiming that they were not getting value for their money.

Of the 4,994 students, the university will make more than Sh207 million as the laptop is going for Sh41,498.

“It’s a requirement that all new students should have a laptop,” said an admission letter from the university seen by Nation.

INTEGRATED ICT

However, Jkuat explained that it has integrated ICT in all its courses and some of the courses will be taught and examined on-line therefore the need for the gadget.

“You will therefore need a laptop to facilitate on-line teaching and examination. The university has put in place provisions for students to acquire high end Taifa laptops at an affordable price of Sh41,498 payable in two instalments without charging interest,” added the letter.

The new students are required to pay their first instalment of Sh22,000 this semester and clear the balance next semester.

Parents who spoke to Nation said they can get laptops in good working condition at Sh20,000 and wondered why the institution’s price was double.

DEFENDED PROJECT

However, the university has defended the project saying it’s ideal for the students.

Meanwhile, most public universities re-open today, after a one-month break for elections, in a week that will see most admit first-year students.

As registration of new students will be going on, lecturers will be holding deliberations on whether to go on strike over failure by the government to pay them scaled up salaries as agreed upon in the 2013-2017 Collective bargaining agreement.

Jkuat, the University of Nairobi and Technical University of Kenya are among institutions that will be receiving freshmen.

A total of 88,626 students were placed in both public and private universities for this academic year. 

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