At the height of the pandemic when most lectures were held online/virtually, it was noted that significant numbers of students had no laptops and as such had difficulties participating fully in virtual classes, online discussions and related academic activities. Considering that the deployment of digital technologies in higher education has gained momentum in recent times and proven to be capable of delivering positive educational outcomes, it is imperative that students in general and needy students in particular are supported as the University seeks to build an inclusive community. The 1S1L is aimed at providing affordable computers for students and staff and free laptops for needy students to help students fully adapt to the changes in education delivery and learning while having access to the required resources to facilitate effective teaching, learning and research.
The ‘One Student One Laptop Initiative’ seeks to employ innovative mechanisms to equip students and staff of the University with affordable and free laptops/handheld devices through partnerships with established Information Technology (IT) companies to enhance teaching and learning and reduce the digital divide. In line with this objective, the project has been designed to explore mechanisms and channels that would help secure free laptops for students who cannot afford them.
To determine the most efficient channels for acquiring laptops for the University Community, four target groups and proposed distribution strategies have been considered. These include (i) students not requiring financial aid (provision of laptops at discounted prices), (ii) needy students (donation offree laptops), (iii) staff/faculty(provision oflaptops through hirepurchase agreements) and (iv) institutionalpurchases (taxwaivers to reduce cost of laptops). The University will also pursue the path of establishing an assembling plant on campus and entering contractual agreements for acquisition vis-à-vis repayment plans, insurance, warranties, etc. to make the required number of laptops available for distribution.
It is estimated that 6000 needy students would require assistance to own a laptop. Based on these estimates and with the average cost of a laptop pegged between GH₵ 2,625 - 3,000 the total amount of money that needs to be raised is about GH₵ 16,875,000 The University is therefore calling on alumni, philanthropists and corporate bodies to contribute in cash or kind towards the realisation of these amounts