The government has decided to obtain the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 LTE for its PerantiSiswa program, according to Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa. This was first revealed as part of his response to questions from fellow MPs regarding the progress of the program at the Parlimen this morning.
First announced as part of the Bajet 2022 last October, PerantiSiswa is meant to assist students from the B40 families that are facing financial difficulties in obtaining digital tools for their education. With a budget of RM450 million, the tablets were supposed to be distributed to students in June but the Ministry of Finance then decided to redo the tender process which finally concluded at the end of last month.
As per our previous report, PerantiSiswa is essentially a loan program since students have to return back the tablets once they finished their studies. At the Parlimen today, the minister also mentioned that the tablet comes with a 2-year warranty which is one of the terms that the government have imposed on PerantiSiswa’s suppliers.
Furthermore, students will be able to receive replacement units immediately if something goes wrong with their tablets. This is to avoid disruption of their learning activities according to Annuar.
For those who are not familiar with the Galaxy Tab A8 LTE, the tablet made its Malaysian debut back in January after it was first unveiled to the world last December. Equipped with a 10.5-inch TFT display that has a native resolution of 1920 x 1200, Tab A8 runs on a Unisoc Tiger T618 processor.
According to Samsung Malaysia’s website which somehow listed the tablet inside its Business Shop but not in the consumer section, the Galaxy Tab A8 LTE also comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It also features 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 7040mAh battery, and the support for up to 1TB microSD card.
The Galaxy Tab A8 LTE also has 15W Fast Charging capability but users have to purchase the fast charger separately. At the same time, this tablet does not support S Pen but eligible students can expect to receive a stylus alongside their tablet anyway since it is included as part of PerantiSiswa’s requirements together with a Bluetooth-based keyboard.
No pricing was mentioned on Samsung Malaysia’s website but as a comparison, the Wi-Fi version of the Tab A8 was launched in Malaysia back in January for RM999. As per what we have said before, the tablet must cost less than RM1,285 per unit in order for the RM450 million budget to cover 350,000 students.
In the follow-up announcement after the Parlimen session, Annuar said that Phase 1 applicants will receive their tablets at the end of this month or early September. On the other hand, the tablets will be provided to Phase 2 applicants within October or November as the Phase 2 registration period will only conclude on 30 September.
The minister also said that the eligibility scope for Phase 2 has been expanded to cover Form 6, vocational college, and foundation programme students as well as those from the National Academy of Arts, Culture, and Heritage (ASWARA). The same also applies to the Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) and matriculation students.