Students pressure Biya on laptops

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Array of laptops. Twitter photo.
Array of laptops. Twitter photo.

University students in Cameroon have asked President Paul Biya to redeem his pledge to give them laptops.

Biya in July promised a laptop to each of the 500,000 students who were scheduled to enrolled in public and private universities in the 2016/2017 academic year.

According to Africa Review news, the academic year began Tuesday.
http://www.africareview.com/news/Cameroon-varsity-students-demand-laptops/979180-3397962-idpff4/index.html

“I cannot wait to receive the laptop. It will really help me in doing research,” said Mr Brian Nyako, a second year Economics student of the University of Yaoundé II.

Higher Education minister Jacques Fame Ndongo, who announced the presidential gesture, gave no conditions for entitlement or the exact distribution date.

“When I got the information that President Biya will offer laptops to university students, I was so elated that I could not hide the news from my classmates,” said Mr Njobe Serge Ngala, a Masters level student pursuing Political Science studies at the University of Dschang in the West.

Students all over the country organised street walks chanting ‘thank you’ praise songs to the 84-year-old leader following the laptops promise.

The announcement was said to be part of the E-National Higher Education Network plan, aimed at driving Cameroon into a digital economy.

“Now that classes have started, my expectations are higher than ever before because at my current level (Masters degree), I’m in dire need of a laptop and I want to know when and how these laptops will be distributed to students,” Mr Ngala said further.

The government contracted Chinese Sichuan Telecom Engineering Co. Ltd to supply the laptops worth $128.6 million (FCFA 75 billion).

However, two days into the 2016/2017 academic year, the promise was yet to be realised.
Authorities of the Universities of Yaoundé I & II declined commenting on the issue, referring journalists to the Ministry of Higher Education.

Efforts to get officials of the latter for a comment on the distribution date of the laptops were futile at the time of this report.


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