THE Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) on Monday donated 166 computers to the National University of Lesotho (NUL) in a ceremony held at Lehakoe Recreation and Cultural Centre in Maseru.
In her remarks, CBL Governor Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane said the gesture was made under the apex bank’s human development initiative which seeks to help institutions with special needs. She said the donation was also in celebration of NUL’s 70th anniversary.
“When NUL announced it was celebrating 70 years of operations this year, we felt compelled to do something for the institution. Almost every employee at CBL is a former NUL student, so we felt compelled to do our part in giving back to an institution that has contributed towards our success,” Dr Matlanyane said.
“This donation of 166 computers is not for the university per se, but for the whole nation as it will benefit large numbers of students who enrol at NUL annually.”
The governor said NUL had initially asked for 145 computers to equip their recently-completed laboratories.
“However, after realizing that there weren’t enough computers for researchers and post-graduate students, we decided to add 22 more bringing the total number to 166 computers valued at M900 000,” she said.
“The bank is also supporting a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing financial literacy especially among primary school students. We hope to incorporate financial education into primary schools’ curriculum.”
Dr Matlanyane said CBL had a strategic partnership with the university.
“Within our board, we have three NUL staff members. We also rely on the input of NUL researchers in formulating such strategies as the financial education programme,” she said.
“Our contribution today is in part towards maintaining that relationship and in line with the National Strategic Development Plan. To achieve quality education, we found that skills could be enhanced through the use of technology, hence the need for infrastructure. This will enable our students to be competitive at the international stage.”
On his part, NUL Vice Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao said he had prioritised developing the university’s academic programmes and technology to ensure the institution produces high quality graduates.
“Prior to employing our new strategy, which we embarked on ahead of the 70th anniversary celebrations, we received one salient message from NUL alumni that the university was now run down,” Professor Mahao said.
“We found that the use of technology, which is a key driver for learning, was almost non-existent at NUL. As a result, some students decided not to come to NUL and go elsewhere ostensibly because of the shortage of computers and other technological facilities such as the internet.
“Technology serves a learning mechanism where information can be readily accessed. Once students realise that such facilities are not available, they start to rethink their decision.”
He added that plans were afoot to acquire 1 000 computers for both students and lecturers.