Private university’s students benefit from laptop project

Nearly 10,000 laptop computers have been donated to students at the private Siantou University Institute in Yaoundé, under a controversial scheme promised by President Paul Biya in 2016 to supply 500,000 Chinese laptops to students.

Minister of State for Higher Education Jacques Fame Ndongo presented the 9,830 'Paul Biya Higher Education Vision' laptops to the students, reported the Cameroon Tribune.

The founder and president of the institute, Lucien Wantou Siantou, expressed his gratitude to Biya for his concern for young people. “We say ‘thank you’ a thousand times to his Excellency Paul Biya for having promoted this collaboration for all Cameroonian university students in general, and those of the University Institute Siantou in particular, with the latest technological and technical changes,” the Cameroon Tribune quoted him as saying.

The newspaper reported a student, Ghislain Amougou Menyeng, as saying: “It’s a very great gift that I have just received from the head of state. This computer will enable me to study better and improve my computer skills.”

But Biya’s XAF75 billion (US$127.5 million) 'one student, one computer' initiative encountered problems after he made his promise in 2016. There were delays in the distribution of the laptops, allegations of corruption and accusations of saddling the country with debt.

Eventually the first two batches, together totalling 180,000 machines, were delivered at the beginning of 2018, reported 20 Minutes.

However, Jeune Afrique reported at the time, the laptops’ hard disks were unsuitable for the students’ needs and their storage capacity inadequate. There was also confusion concerning the cost. - Compiled by Jane Marshall

This article is drawn from local media.
University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.