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Monday, 1 January 2018

500,000 Mini-laptop distribution to University students in Cameroon.

Mini-laptops already available

Last year the head of state promised young university students of all ages and sex without discrimination to be offered a laptop each. A sum of 75 billions Fcfa was budgeted for this educational updating project by the head of state President Paul Biya. These laptops are to be distributed to students in both private and public Universities. Many could not believe to one day have a mini laptop for studies but today their dreams have seen a lamp light.
Last week the minister  of secondary education, JF Ndongo started the distribution of the Chinese made mini-laptops at the University of Yaoundé 1 and the University of Yaoundé 2 respectively. For now, only about 90,000 laptops are available for the first phase distribution said Jean J Fame Ndongo. It should be noted that an additional 75 billions fcfa was added due to additional installations by Microsoft. The black and white machines are pretty nice and portable as said by many students in front of Amphitheatre 700 of the Yaoundé 1 campus. The next phase of the distribution shall take place early 2018 in the other Universities across the country.

The negations of the machines
Considering that 150 billion fcfa ($300 million) was made available for these mini-laptops to be distributed to 500,000 University students in Cameroon. Why mini-laptops?
It should be noted that each is claimed to cost 300000 fcfa, about $640 each.
 which is impossible. Secondly, these machine have a memory which is less than that of an iPhone. I mean 28 gigs bytes and a few Hz as processor. For the 3 years life span machine to provide a little help to a student, they need an external drive to boost the memory. Many would have preferred the government to pay their tuition for a year rather than giving them the low capacity machines that can't support a few files.
Many preferred the government to have used the 150 billions of CFA to improve on research and hands-on training, infrastructure e.t.c...

The idea was good and wise for every student to have one but the quality didn't match the price. It should be noted that about 60% of the Cameroonian student community had laptops before the idea became a project. The life span of this machine is 3 years, meaning that a student must use it with care to the fullest. "Note that 16 Giga bytes have been consumed by the system and the remaining 12 is for the student's research". These machines have a Microsoft package which is not activated, meaning that a student still need some money to buy the keys. Then why was Microsoft paid for if actually they were paid to install it.

The second question is, why not buy at least 150 Go laptops that may even cost 150000 fcfa. Yes China also fabricates according to your price. But a $640 laptop should not have a peanut memory of 28 Giga bytes (hard drive). It is crystal clear that many students will sell out those machines in the neighborhoods. "I have a 300 Go laptop, why an additional 30 Go machine which may not load after adding a few files. Nango Elsa a level 4 student told Fly4studyCameroon

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