Vo­da­com do­nates 100 com­put­ers to NUL

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

VO­DA­COM Le­sotho ( VCL) yes­ter­day do­nated 100 com­put­ers to the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) as part of a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The han­dover cer­e­mony was held at the univer­sity’s Roma cam­pus, with NUL Vice Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Nqosa Ma­hao, Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent Kananelo Mos­ito, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Khotso Let­satsi, VCL Act­ing Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Johnny Dos Santos and Le­sotho Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Au­thor­ity Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Tseliso ‘Mokela among those in at­ten­dance.

In his re­marks, Mr Dos Santos said the two or­gan­i­sa­tions signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) to co­op­er­ate in en­sur­ing the univer­sity catches up with other re­gional in­sti­tu­tions. The MOU seeks to, among oth­ers, im­prove and upgrade NUL’S com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries for both stu­dents and teacher train­ing, im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity through­out the cam­pus, host open and dis­tance learn­ing servers and fa­cil­i­tate e-learn­ing.

Un­der the agree­ment, the or­gan­i­sa­tions would also launch a stu­dent in­tern­ship place­ment pro­gramme for short-term as­sign­ments within VCL’S com­mer­cial, le­gal, fi­nance and tech­ni­cal de­part­ments, through the Vo­da­com Grad­u­ate De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme.

“We are here to cel­e­brate an ini­tia­tive to ad­vance the univer­sity’s ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards with the do­na­tion of 100 com­put­ers,” said Mr Dos Santos.

“This is, how­ever, not our only tar­get as our ob­jec­tives are out­lined in the MOU we signed with NUL. To­day’s ini­tia­tive is only the be­gin­ning of a long-term part­ner­ship to­wards de­vel­op­ing the education stan­dards of the univer­sity.”

Mr Dos Santos said the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant was pas­sion­ate about rais­ing education stan­dards from pri­mary up to ter­tiary lev­els as ex­em­pli­fied by the var­i­ous pro­grammes they had ini­ti­ated around the coun­try.

“Vo­da­com is cur­rently sup­port­ing an e-learn­ing pro­gramme called ischool in pri­mary schools that en­ables chil­dren to learn through the use of tablets. This is chang­ing the way education is be­ing de­liv­ered dur­ing lessons. Vo­da­com is also sup­port­ing men­tor­ing pro­grammes to sup­port youths ven­tur­ing in busi­ness. We are ex­cited that just

next week we will be open­ing an in­no­va­tion park aimed at groom­ing ideas of bud­ding en­trepreneurs into vi­able busi­nesses,” he said.

On his part, Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao said the part­ner­ship was a re­sult of the univer­sity’s plea to the pri­vate sec­tor to con­trib­ute to­wards de­vel­op­ing the in­sti­tu­tion.

“At the be­gin­ning of this year, we launched a cam­paign invit­ing many of our alumni in the pri­vate sec­tor to ex­tend a help­ing hand to our in­sti­tu­tion,” he said.

“We wish to work to­gether with peo­ple who we have a bona fide claim to the univer­sity such as govern­ment, our alumni as well as pri­vate sec­tor en­ti­ties”.

Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao said VCL’S com­ing on board was timeous given that the Coun­cil on Higher Education had given a neg­a­tive re­view of NUL.

“Dur­ing their last re­view of the univer­sity, the Coun­cil on Higher Education gave a neg­a­tive re­view on the stan­dard of education here. One of the things they pointed to was the short­age of com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries. They gave us two years to sort out our ar­eas of weak­ness, and we are grate­ful to Vo­da­com for com­ing to our aid,” he said.

FROM left: NUL Vice Chan­cel­lor Prof Nqosa Ma­hao, VCL Act­ing MD Johnny Dos Santos and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Khotso Let­satsi an­a­lyse one of the do­nated com­put­ers.

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