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Tuesday, 04 August 2015 00:00

Textbooks, Tablets or Nothing?

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Although some companies failed to deliver textbooks to schools in Limpopo in 2012, they have been awarded a contract to supply Gauteng schools with laptops, tablets, and microcomputer servers worth over R171 million. According to a report in the City Press, EduSolutions will also supply e-textbooks and "digital multimedia content" worth R30 million to the schools. The company made headlines in 2012 due to its inability to deliver textbooks in Limpopo, which left hundreds of thousands of pupils without learning materials. Despite its contract being suspended by the Limpopo education department, the company continues to supply textbooks to schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Will they deliver on time? The company's new Gauteng contract states that EduSolutions must ensure 375 schools in the province are "paperless" by 31 October – which experts predict won't take place. "There were serious allegations against EduSolutions. It is therefore completely improper that government is still doing business with them," said Section 27's Mark Heywood. However, EduSolutions insisted it is capable of doing the job, referencing the fact it has delivered textbooks and learning materials to schools in Gauteng for the past 12 years "without problems". The Department of Education plans to have all Gauteng classrooms online by 2017, which will cost an estimated R17 billion. The full report is available in the City Press of 26 July 2015.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said cameras installed in schools with "paperless classrooms" will also help fight drug use at schools. He was speaking at Protea Glen Secondary School in Soweto, during the launch of the second phase of "paperless classrooms" by the provincial department of education. "In fact, those cameras will also help us deal with drugs because we must fight drugs in our schools," he said. Protea Glen Secondary School was one of the 375 township and rural schools whose Grade 12 classes have been fitted with the latest technology. Matric pupils at these schools have each received a tablet, their classrooms fitted with interactive boards and their teachers have been given laptops. The department has spent R1.2-billion on the second phase.




Read 450 times Last modified on Monday, 18 January 2016 05:44
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