Students will receive 30GB data for 3 months: Government
The Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced that the department of higher education and training have successfully negotiated for favorable student 30GB data rates with all mobile network operators for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) beneficiaries and the Funza Lushaka students.
Blade Nzimande reveals that as part of Covid-19 response, students will receive 30GB of data for three months starting 1 June till end of August.
Student 30GB data apportionment
This 30GB data is subsidized by the government and will be apportioned as 10GB day-time and 20GB night-time data.
“As stated in our last briefing, government is committed to ensure that all NSFAS students have access to an appropriate device to support their online learning and to ensure that no student is left behind. Some universities have already issued their students with laptops and data, some as part of their normal policies, others as a response to COVID-19. A lot of work then had to be undertaken to quantify the exact number and location of these students who still need to be issued with devices. That work has now been completed and procurement will commence as soon as the approval of the Minister of Finance is received,” Nzimande said.
Blade Nzimande said that NSFAS had engaged SARS to get access to latest tax data which aids them to verify household income of NSFAS applicants.
“NSFAS will now also be able to include other income such as investment and rental income in its applications assessment. This will greatly assist towards finalization of outstanding appeals”.
“Taken together, indeed NSFAS is truly providing for the most vulnerable and the poor members of our society by opening up gateways out of poverty. The shift to provide for learning material for NSFAS students to include digital devices and data will not only address technology enabled pedagogy over the lockdown period but will truly move South African education into the modern era offering access to wider resources and teaching materials”.
‘This bold step will also be extended to TVET students for whom access to technology will improve their skills fit for a modern economy,” he said.
The government acknowledges its failure to subsidize data to the middle class category students and also students in private institutions since they equally need data to access online learning.
Students will receive 30GB data for the next 3 months: Blade Nzimande