Gauteng postpones tablets rollout to Grade 11s due to “financial constraints”

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Grade 11 classrooms at no-fee township schools will have to wait a bit longer to receive their free tablets from the Gauteng Department of Education.

The department’s MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, revealed this today a briefing on the progress of the province’s ICT rollout.

Grade 11 classes were meant to receive tablets this year, after Grade 12s, which were the first to have the Paperless Classrooms project piloted last year. But due to some of the troubles the department ran into, including stolen and non-returned tablets, the process for Grade 11 has had to be halted.

“The plan was to rollout the project to Grade 11 classrooms on 377 schools during 2016. However, the process, has been delayed for a number of reasons,” Lesufi said.

“First, the department has to address residual challenges from the Grade 12 project including theft of SmartBoards and tablets not retunred by learners or those returned in a bad state. Second, financial constraints have also delayed the rollout,” he added.

Lesufi said his department has learned valuable lessons and is now ready to proceed from here onwards, albeit with a refined programme for Grade 11.

The department did not state when it would resume the tablet rollout.

Meanwhile, over 3 000 Grade 11 teachers have been trained to use ICT resources in the classroom and will be provided with a teacher’s laptop.