Mpumalanga Matrics to get thousands of laptops, tablets

  • The Mpumalanga government says that learners at 128 schools are already receiving lessons in coding and robotics.
  • Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane says that her government will procure laptops and tablets for Matrics learners and their teachers, likely in the thousands of devices.
  • Finally, the premier briefly outlined plans for schools in the province to go completely paperless.

In her State of Province Address for 2024, delivered 1st March, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane revealed that 128 schools in the province have already implemented coding and robotics lessons as part of the usual syllabus.

Learners from grades R to 7 are taking part in these lessons. The pilot programme initially outlined that learners in grade R to 9 would be receiving coding and robotics as part of school. The Premier says this pilot “is progressing well.”

For the last six years, the South African government has been piloting giving children at schools lessons in coding and robotics. The roll-out has been glacial despite Education Minister Angie Motshekga saying in 2019 that the programme was “100 percent ready”, but now it seems some provinces are issuing lessons in future-minded subjects to their learners.

Thousands of laptops heading for Mpumalanga matrics

The Mpumalanga Premier did not share more about what the learners are engaged with when it comes to “coding and robotics.” What lessons they are learners, and how. Instead, she ran down some more technological moves the province has made in recent months.

This includes the preocurement of tablets and laptops for all grade 12 learners and their teachers in Quintile 1 to 3 schools across the province. In 2008, Quintile 1 and 2 schools – representing the poorest communities in the province and nearly half a million children – made up nearly 50 percent of the total number of public schools in the province. This number is likely more now in 2024.

It is likely that Mpumalanga has secured thousands of devices for learners at these schools and their teachers. Seeing as government currently overpays for its hardware, even those items marked for the education sector, this initiative has likely cost the province several million Rand.

As for the devices themselves, the premier explained, “These devices are loaded with e-content and will be provided this year with an offline application so as to enable access learning even outside the four walls of the classroom without data or connectivity.”

Additionally, the Mpumalanga government is looking to expand its elearning across its schools. “This year, the province will introduce the smart schools concept in eight schools where both teachers and learners will utilize technological devices and thus making the schools paperless,” Premier Mtsweni-Tsipane announced.

[Image – CC 0 Pexels]


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