Monday, June 3, 2013

Open University Ilala regional centre to enhance students’ studies

IN the aftermaths of price hiking for printing of study materials for students currently studying through distance learning mode of education with the Open University of Tanzania (OUT),  students’ organization at Ilala regional centre, has timed up to establish a stationery shop that would provide affordable and cheap printing services to their students. Unlike at the moment, students are compelled to receive such services at an exorbitant price rate when going for outside bound stationeries which are too expensive for an ordinary student to afford in order to have printouts of their study materials which are issued to them by the university in a soft copy. In order to cut down such huge expenses, the centre is raising funds from well wishers including academicians from within and outside so as to help finance the establishment of a shop from where students will receive printing services and buy other necessary stationeries for their studies at a comparatively lower price rates. In their six hour meeting with OUT students from Ilala regional centre recently in Dar es Salaam,  members of students’ organization used the opportunity to enlighten fellow students the importance of having own shop which they said would provide them cheap services in order to enhance their studies. Augustine Emmanuel, the regional secretary for OUTSO Ilala centre and the Deputy President of the organization Faraja Kampambe, both urged them to contribute money at least Sh. 5,000 the minimum amount so as to facilitate their move and get avoided with the inconveniences when required to print over 200 paged booklet that costs over Sh. 20,000. According to them, the established stationery shop of their own would charge lower price rate cost of printing one page and this might make them spend between Sh. 4,000 and Sh. 7,000 per each copy of a study material required bearing in mind the fact that, a student is required to have about 14 study materials slated for one academic year. The idea of establishing stationery shop by OUT Ilala regional centre has come about amid a newly introduced system by the OUT management which it has introduced of issuing study materials to their students in soft copy instead of hard copy as it used before. However, an official from the OUT who preferred anonymity when contacted for comments from main university campus said in a telephone interview that, due to increased number of students’ admission at the university, the management is not able to issue hard copies to their students and thus requires them have printout from soft copies provided by the university. He noted that, the policy of the university requires each student to have own computer or laptop everywhere in order to read their materials issued in soft copies. But unfortunately not all 40,000 students admitted yearly in all the faculties at the university are able to afford. In view of this have to seek for an alternative. He further stated that, in addition to that despite of having computers the reading situation is compelled by some other constraints the major one emanating from erratic power supply a common phenomenon in the country which has affected the use of ICT tools such as computers. In view of this, there is a great need of having materials in print form. The Director of the OUT Ilala regional centre, Dr. Helen Kiunsi told The Guardian on Sunday in an exclusive interview yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, her students at the centre have been encountering problems of stationery services during printing their study materials due to skyscraping costs. However, she noted that, her centre requires a capital of approximately Sh. 12.5 million to establish a stationery shop which would serve about 1,500 students in her area. She said adding that, up now have collected the sum of Sh. 1.5 million from well wishers

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