The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande’s recently announced that tertiary institutions must provide National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) beneficiaries with electronic devices so that they can continue learning at home during the lockdown period.
Thulane Michael Tlhapi from Carletonville,Gauteng is one of the South African students who received a laptop from NSFAS. He is a third-year BA Psychology and Tourism Management student at the North-West University. He applied for NSFAS because his mother could not afford to pay for his tuition. According to Tlhapi, NSFAS has played a vital role in making his dream of getting education a reality.
“I was ecstatic when I received my new laptop because it is currently mandatory for us to learn online. I am now able to submit my tasks and assignments on time, in the comfort of my own home. I am also able to do group tasks online with other students and friends who have laptops,” he explains.
Before receiving the laptop, he was worried about his schoolwork and feared missing out on information because internet cafes and libraries were closed. “I had to use my cellphone to do some of the assignments but it was not effective. Imagine typing an essay and then a Facebook notification pops up on your screen… that was my reality. Now I am able to concentrate when doing assignments on my laptop. It works better than a cellphone,” said Tlhapi.