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Opinions of Friday, 13 April 2018

Columnist: Ananpansah Solomon

One student, one laptop: What they aren't telling you

The chill of the past Friday Evening could hardly be felt around the union building as various candidates and backing crowds entered the arena of test for vetting. For hours on end (as it seemed), questions were posed (some under more passionate tone than others) and the candidates as it were hit it with their best shots.

You should have been there. You should have heard the "vibes". One could only wish _Radio Univers_ had aired it live. Imagine the euphoria that would have spread across halls. Well, alas, they did have a crew in place. We would have to wait for the Video Coverage.

Till such a time as the "truth" leaks online, the ink should spill justice and quench the flames of deceit hovering our intellectual environs. Till such a time as "seeing" is possible for you to "believe", the truth will be told to you in hopes, dear Legonite, that it does set you free.

As with all political seasons, the night came with it's fair share of drama, heckling and Obinim-Sized policies. One such far-reaching thread is the phrase "One student, One Laptop". Ooohoo! One Student, One _'Mini'_??

Just when _Ewura Adams Karim_ and his astute-looking Vice Candidate were winning hearts with their boisterous take to matters, he dropped this bomb. Even religious followers (of the SANKOFA movement) visibly observed a pause. *Did he mean "One Student, One Laptop"? Or had it been an unpardonable slip of tongue?The government of Ghana itself is not through with it's "One Village, One Dam" policy.

Could it be just an attempt to make headlines and score cheap political points? Or was the poet-turned politician up for business? Tick, tock, I'm sure you have thought the same thing too. The truth, dear legonite, sets all free.

First lesson in living a furfiled life (even beyond campus): NEVER ASSUME, ALWAYS ASK. Many agenda, domestic and national alike have often been blown out of proportion because people allow others to define for them the value of what their own senses gather. One Student, One Laptop as boldly proclaimed does not denote an SRC distributing free quality laptops for all. This may be possible in a utopian University of Ghana but has nothing to do with the SANKOFA agenda.

Fortified leadership is one that identifies problems and takes pragmatic steps in solving them. It does not necessarily mean that all will be catered for. In fact, this is is next to impossible. However, a large majority must attest to these benefits. This is where the unfortunately misinterpreted policy comes in.

University education is almost impossible without a laptop.4 out of 10 students in the University of Ghana don't own a personal laptop according to a survey conducted across various faculties (Hard Proof Available). Such students are left to the rescue of computer facilities at time bound locations like the Balme Library and the UGCS.

Research work becomes unbearable for such students in a research focused institution like ours. How do these students cope especially with sometimes having to submit an assignment every week?The Sankofa administration seeks to address the issue by providing a scheme which gets each student sorted with this burden of a laptop . Organisations like Microsoft and Dell have lifetime commitment to technology driven and enhanced education and have in the past supported Ghanaian institutions in such accord.

The SRC under The Sankofa administration would leverage the mandates of these computer giants to provide discounted laptops per student who already don't have one.[Think a loan policy that allows you to have the device to easily catch up with workload, more flexible payment scheme and subsidized expense by concerned institutions to make sure you get the solid foundation in education you need]

There would be an application process where students sign up for a laptop and agree to pay in bits of monthly, semester or yearly installments ( this comes with no interest rate or hidden charges whatsoever) Our core mandate to the service of the student is to serve as a guarantor. Each student, gets a laptop and education becomes easier. With this in mind, and under effective leadership, One student, One laptop is possible.

Some do have these devices already, others are making attempts to get it. This is a concerned Student Leadership meeting you halfway (not spending all the funds on temporal fun attractions but ones like this that will make lasting impressions on your stay and excellence on Campus). Dear Student, do not be deceived. This is no swindle.

As compared to Magic GPA manipulations, previous semi-prophecies of Ambulance among others, this is actually viable and will go a long way to make things better.

Leadership does not solve everything but puts steps in place at making the most of resources. Let us go back to the roots where you were and have always been the pivot of the SRC. We represent students (the common bush-ke crowds, the struggling, the experienced and others) not the propaganda machinery by forces outside there who have no idea what being a student in 2018 entails. Here's a leadership for you, striving for you and believing in you. Believe with us.SANKOFA... Making the SRC relevant to You.