NSFAS Is One Step Closer To Delivering Laptops

We've all been wondering about how far NSFAS is with providing students with laptops and I'm sure many have even given up hope. However, NSFAS is officially one step closer and the laptops are even closer to being delivered.

We've all been wondering about how far NSFAS is with providing students with laptops and I'm sure many have even given up hope. However, NSFAS is officially one step closer and the laptops are even closer to being delivered.

NSFAS has now finally solidified who will be the service providers of the laptops and completed their tender process. This now means that all that has to be done is the laptops needing to be supplied and delivered.

The organisation has however not given a solid date for when the laptops will be delivered but previous estimates have said that it will be done in January 2021. 

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has concluded the evaluation and awarding process of the tender for the supply and delivery of laptops to NSFAS students. 

- NSFAS

The tender was advertised on 4 September and closed on 21 September with NSFAS receiving 140 bids from possible service providers. 135 of these bids were scrapped for not achieving the mandatory requirements, leaving 5 to be awarded the opportunity to supply NSFAS with laptops.

The details of the five successful bids are as follows:

  • Pinnacle where a laptop will cost R3863.56 each
  • CEOS Technologies where a laptop will cost R5290 each
  • MLO Distinctive Solutions where a laptop will cost R5300 each
  • East Side Group where a laptop will cost R5750
  • AND Group where a laptop will cost R6200

NSFAS will therefore be paying millions of rands to provide students with laptops which students will not have to pay for out of their own pockets. 

"NSFAS is in the process of completing the contractual arrangements with all 5 service providers ... will be communicated with all institutions, whereby institutions can commence the procurement process for the laptops required by the NSFAS funded students," NSFAS explained.

It was previously said that NSFAS would be supplying 730 000 students across the higher educations sector with laptops. This is broken down into 430 000 students from Universities and 300 000 from TVET Colleges. NSFAS students who qualify for a laptop will be receiving a laptop, a charger and a laptop bag to carry the laptop.

Acting deputy director general for TVET education, Aruna Singh, has previously said that no college had issued laptops. She explained that the procurement and distribution of laptops would not make sense to the 2020 academic year as the students would soon write exams and some won't be returning next year. 

TVET Colleges have indicated that they don't need the devices for this year and that they will be used during the 2021 academic year. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Philly Mapulane said, "There is a need next year for TVETs but not as a part of saving the 2020 academic year but as part of the normal allocation of the gadgets to the students."

What NSFAS hopes to achieve with providing laptops to students is to give them access to digital remote learning which has become a reality this year as we experience this pandemic. They also want to ensure that no student is left behind. 

... providing NSFAS funded students with laptops will not only benefit students during the pandemic, but will usher a new dawn in advancement of technology and embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

- NSFAS

A statement released by NSFAS said that NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, is grateful for stakeholders who have helped NSFAS to make significant strides in unpacking and looking into modernised ways of learning and teaching.

 

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