A total of 793 brilliants, needy students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have benefited from the university’s Support One Needy Student with One Laptop (SONSOL) project to help less privileged students to pursue their university education.
Since the beginning of the initiative, the university has distributed a total of 1,397 laptops to needy students.
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 of 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 minimum Cumulative Weighted Average (CWA) of 55.00 and above.
However, students already benefiting from any other scholarships or bursary above GH¢2,000.00 are not eligible.
Examples 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’s 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.
The laptops were sponsored by some corporate organisations including State Insurance Company (SIC), KEK Insurance Brokers, Cal Bank Ghana Ltd, Stanbic Bank Ghana PLC, MyTurn, Andysap Furniture, Multinec, and the Ghana Institute of Surveyors.
The rest are the Agricultural Manufacturing Group (AMG), Newmont Ghana, Vesterline Company Ltd, Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), SRC KNUST, GRASAG KNUST, NUGS KNUST and Distance Learning Students Association (DLSA).
The laptops are valued at GH¢ 3,965,000.00.
Speaking at the award ceremony at the Great Hall of the KNUST on Monday, July 18, 2022l, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, said it was incumbent on the institution as a university to hook onto the virtual space because with the onset and spread of COVID-19, it had become clear that the university could no longer go at its own pace as far as the digital transformation was concerned.
The VC said as part of in-house preparations for the 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 had undergone mandatory training in diversified modes of delivery, including the psychology of online teaching.
She commended the various institutions and individuals for supporting the SONSOL project, but added that considering the whopping number of 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.