The Egyptian government has inked a deal to provide university students with 10,000 locally manufactured tablet PCs, local daily Al Ahram reports.
While it is unclear how students who receive the PCs will be chosen, they will be distributed over the next six months, based on who the Ministry of Higher Education feels will best benefit from them.
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Announcing the initiative at this year’s ICT conference, Hussein Khaled, the Minister of Higher Education, said that the PCs will promote “technological excellence”, encourage the use of ICT tools in the education system, as well as a continuous educational process through e-learning.
It is also hoped that the initiative will boost the local technology industry, provide job opportunities, and provide local manufacturers with experience that will allow them to compete internationally in the market.
The announcement, however, was not accompanied by any details as far as specs are concerned.
While in theory, the initiative sounds great, it is worth waiting to see how it pans out.
A similar initiative in India, with the government manufacturing low-cost $45 tablets to be provided to students at the subsidized price of $35, has been anything but smooth. The process has slowed due to various reasons, from switching IT companies, and dealing with a litany of legal disputes as a result.
While, in Egypt the situation is slightly different, with a limited number of tablet PCs going to a select group of students, an inked deal is worth only the paper it’s written on – until results materialize.