“Specifications Met” – School Tablets: Manufacturer Blames Ministry


Still failing to deliver cheap Windows tablets to schools as part of the government’s digitization offensive could have repercussions. The sub-supplier of the devices, which was initially selected but was not given a chance, has now announced that it will take the “necessary legal action” to protect its rights. Reports of defects to the devices will be rejected.

In this school year, students in the fifth and sixth grade should actually be provided with notebooks and tablets. About 1,500 schools participated in the initiative, which started in the fall of 2021. The parents pay a deductible of 25 percent, so the devices belong to the children. Low-income families can also be exempt from the deductible. The schools could choose between Windows notebooks and tablets, iPads and Android tablets and refurbished devices.

However, there were problems with the Windows tablets: initially no offer with a suitable price was found in a European tender. A1 and its subcontractor ONDA TLC emerged as winners of the new tender, but teachers reported problems with the pre-provided test devices. Functional defects were also identified in two reports commissioned by the Ministry of Education, as a result of which the devices were not delivered.

“The problem wasn’t the tablets”
The ministry and A1 recently agreed to offer the students a different, higher quality type of device from a different brand from the autumn. In turn, the Carinthia-based company ONDA does not want to let this sit on its back. The devices ‘exactly matched the technical specifications of the tender’, according to a broadcast. Subsequent complaints, tests and expert opinions largely ignored these specifications and the existing operational framework.

“The problem wasn’t the tablets,” said Lorenzo Barbantini, ONDA TLC’s Chief Revenue Officer. Rather, the requirements were aimed at the lowest possible price. “It’s unrealistic and wrong if you want cheap school supplies in bulk and then set the standard for professional tablets and then maybe blame the supplier.”

Nevertheless, they have agreed to provide better devices than requested. These would be in school classes as early as next fall. That the final supplier, who won the tender with the ONDA tablets “by a good margin”, now wants to supply other, much more expensive tablets of a different class a year later, was “learned from the media”, which made the Company.

Source: Krone


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