Post-secondary education-Laptop scheme for students on track


Messrs Benstrong (left) and Choppy giving details of the scheme

The Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT) principal secretary Benjamin Choppy last week gave details of this new initiative which was announced by Vice-President Danny Faure during his last budget speech.

Also present at the press conference in the DICT office at Caravelle House was the Seychelles Savings Bank chief executive Michael Benstrong.

Mr Choppy said his department has been asked to formulate the mechanics of the scheme as well as to administer it.

He said it will be financed through the Savings Bank and the Education Ministry whose students will be the beneficiaries.

“The government will contribute R3000 towards the purchase of a laptop by full-time post-secondary students,” he said.

“The student can benefit under this scheme only once and must buy the laptop from a local supplier who has agreed to take part in the new initiative,” he added.

He is calling on local laptop suppliers wishing to join the scheme to come to the DICT to get more details and to collect registration forms.

And students will be able to log on to the DICT website to view these suppliers once the list is ready by May 3.

Regarding the procedures to purchase their laptops, he said students can acquire their registration forms from the same website or from their institutions and submit them by May 14.

“Students have to fill the application form and get it certified by their institutions with an official stamp.”

Then they need to hand it to one of the suppliers and make payment for a laptop minus the R3000.”

Mr Choppy said the computer must be portable; it can be an ipad but not a smart phone or a desktop.

He added that students will then have to get a receipt for the payment made plus an invoice for the R3000 to be contributed by the government.

And afterwards submit the payment receipt, invoice and completed form to the DICT.
He explained that once approval has been made, the DICT will contact the students and will issue a cheque worth R3000 in favour of the supplier or provide a receipt or advisory note of the bank transfer to the supplier within a week.

“Students can then collect their laptops from the supplier with the cheque or receipt of bank transfer and the receipt of the payment already made by them.”

Mr Choppy added that once students have been issued with a cheque in favour of an authorised supplier, they will not be able to change the supplier.

Mr Benstrong said the payment will be done fast and the Savings Bank will be able to deliver its responsibilities towards the scheme.

He said the bank will get approval from the DICT to pay the supplier, adding that the procedure will be fast as most of them must have an account.

“Once the suppliers have given their bank details, the Savings Bank can make swift payment whereby they will get their money transferred into their account on the same day.”

“If things come to worse we can issue bankers cheque and the student can collect it from DICT and give it to the supplier to release the goods.”

Mr Benstrong added that students do not have to come to the bank for any procedures and that they do not need to be a client of Savings Bank to be eligible for this scheme.

There are all together eight registered post-secondary centres in the country – Maritime Training Centre, Seychelles Institute of Technology, National Institute of Health and Social Studies, School of Business Studies and Accounting, Seychelles Agriculture and Horticulture Training Centre, School of Advanced Level Studies, School of Visual Arts and Seychelles Tourism Academy.

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