Prof. Eli Katunguka, the Vice Chancellor, Kyambogo University welcoming the Absa team before signing the MoU
Kyambogo University has today 19th May 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Absa Bank Uganda to enable the university acquire laptops and other related accessories on loan instalment basis for students and staff.
While speaking at the event, Prof. Eli Katunguka, the Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor stated that this MoU will enable members of staff and students acquire ICT gadgets over a period of time on a hire purchase basis so that they don’t feel the pinch by paying at the same time.
Prof Katunguka revealed that during the COVID 19 pandemic the National Council for Higher Education accessed the university’s readiness for e-learning and they found that the university was ready to engage students through e-learning. Kyambogo University scored 79 percent.
He went on to reveal further that teaching and online teaching and learning had challenges whereby some students were able to learn online but others would not because they didn’t have the gadgets or the necessary connectivity. As a result, it was difficult to determine how many students were attending lectures out of 330000 students. This failure to possess ICT gadgets like smartphones, laptops, and the cost of data prompted Top Management to start a discussion, which resulted in a decision to look for a partner who would ensure that our members of staff and students access ICT gadgets to conduct online teaching, learning and research.
“We have learning centers in Soroti and Bushinyi districts and our thinking is that one can sit here in class and teach many students on long distance through ICT provision because this is being done in other countries” said Prof Katunguka.
On his part, Mr. Mumba Kalifungwa, the Managing Director, Absa Bank Uganda said Absa is glad to announce the partnership that is bound by a memorandum of understanding with Kyambogo University through which Absa bank will facilitate students and staff of the university with a facility to acquire laptops through a loan scheme that allows payments on an installment basis. The loan will have a maximum tenure of 36 months depending on the students remaining duration of study and is open to all students and staff of the university regardless of whether they hold an existing Absa bank account or not.
This offer was born out of our desire to see students smoothly cope with the distractions that came with the COVID -19 pandemic, which forced many to pursue their learning and or adopt a high price for learning that required digital tools like laptops.
These tools are, however, not easily accessible or affordable to all students due to the cost associated with them. In fact, according to the 2019-2020 Uganda household survey, the proportion of the population that owns a computer or laptop stood at only 2%, with 50% stating the high cost of digital gadgets as a barrier to access. Therefore it has become imperative to equip students and staff with the right tools like laptops and other computer gadgets and insurance against theft, which is included in this particular offer. As a digitally powered bank, we are cognizant with numerous benefits that come with digital learning, it increases access to education and knowledge resources while empowering students with a mindset and capabilities that set them up for success in their present and the future.