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593 Needy KNUST students benefit from laptop project

BY: Emmanuel Baah
Beneficiaries in a group photograph after they received their laptops at the Great Hall, KNUST, Kumasi
Beneficiaries in a group photograph after they received their laptops at the Great Hall, KNUST, Kumasi

A total of 593 brilliant, needy students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have benefitted from the university's Support One Needy Student with One Laptop (SONSOL) project to help less privileged students pursue their university education.

The support is open to only Ghanaian students, including students from the Institute of Distance Learning (IDL), Obuasi campus, and from all colleges of the university.

The support is for Level 100 to 300 students only. Final year students are not eligible.

For new students, a maximum  West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) aggregate of 18 is required for one to qualify for the project, and for continuing students one needs to attain a  a minimum Cumulative Weighted Average (CWA) of 55.00 and above.

Exemptions

However, students already benefitting from any other scholarship or bursary above GH¢2,000.00 are not eligible.

Example of such scholarships are those from the Mastercard Foundation scholars programme, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tullow, MTN Foundation, Vodafone, the GET-Fund, MP Common Fund and District Assembly Support, among others.

The selection criteria is 'water-tight' to ensure that the laptops are received only by students who are in critical need of them.

Sponsors

The laptops were sponsored by some corporate organisations including Vodafone Ghana, Stanbic Bank, Absa Bank, SIC Insurance Company and Zoomlion Ghana Limited.

The rest are Tobinco Pharmaceutical Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG).

Two alumni of the KNUST,  Nana Poku Agyemang, the  Director of Urban Roads,Kumasi, and Mr Agyei Baffour, who doubles as a council member of the university, personally donated five laptops each in support of the project.

The laptops are valued at GH¢2,965,000.

Virtual space

Speaking at the award ceremony at the Great Hall of the KNUST last Thursday, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, said  it was incumbent on them  as a university, to hook onto the virtual space when out of the blue last year Covid-19 appeared and made it clear from day one that the university could no longer go at their own pace as far as the digital transformation race was concerned.

The VC said as part of their in-house preparations towards this new order and to be able to leverage on the new ways of doing things to provide diverse online platforms to enhance teaching, learning and research, all faculty members of the university have undergone mandatory training in diversified modes of delivery, including psychology of online teaching.

Commendation

The VC commended the various institutions and individuals for supporting the SONSOL project but added that considering the whopping 4,375 students who applied for the laptops, the limited laptops could not meet the numbers.

She, therefore, appealed to all to support and make the project a success.