MHESC to provide free internet access to 65.000 university students

MHESC to provide free internet access to 65.000 university students

Dili_East Timor_Arno Maierbrugger (14)

DILI, 30 April 2021 (TATOLI) – Director-General of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture (MHESC), Filomena Lay, said the ministry had verified 65.000 students from 18 public and private institutions to access the free internet.

“Its implementation should take place as soon as possible because the budget has already been approved (in the National Parliament), but we must coordinate with some telecommunication authorities because we have to provide them with the contacts of the students,” Filomena Lay via phonecall with Tatoli.

Ms. Lay said also it is not obvious to verify the phone numbers from the 65 thousand students, adding that it is necessary to review their contact numbers to obtain the definite number.

“The data may not match the students’ contact number,” she said.

Concerning the complaints from the students without phone and no contact number, Ms. Lay said that this situation constitutes one of the biggest challenges in the implementation of the program.

“We have to collaborate with the parents and the government to successfully implement this program to provide internet access to the students,” she said.

Minister of Higher education science and Culture (HESC), Longuinhos Dos Santos said all citizens have the right to access the communication and remind all people must fulfill the rulers that have been approved at National Parliament.

(Image Tatoli/Egas Crstovão.)

However, on Wednesday (28/04/021), Timor-Leste University Movement (TLUM) and Timor-Leste Alliance University (TLAU) recommends to the government’s Higher Education of Science and Culture ( HESC) to reactivate the learning process at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) considering the school’s online program is not beneficiate the university students.

TLAU spokesperson, Gama Lemorai, during the press conference, do not agree with the implementation of the online class program because students have not been able to access the free internet, especially in remote areas.

(Image Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

“We disagree with the subsides of one-gigabyte internet and $10.00 credit card to be provided by the government to the students, because many students live in the remotes areas are continued to experiencing the weak internet connections,” she said at the press conference held in UNTL Dili.

It is recalled that MESSC foresees in the amending budget more than 19 million American dollars for free internet and payment of tuition fees for students of Public and Private universities during Government implementation of a sanitary fence to deal with covid-19.

The MESSC allocates 14 million dollars for tuition fees and 5.4 million for free internet for all students in all territories, of the total amount allocating for the internet, 2.1 million amount set for Ministry of Higher Education and more than 3 million amount for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEJD).


Journalist: Nelia Fernandes

Editor: Maria Auxiliadora


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