‘Paperless classrooms’ set to expand
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Johannesburg - The Gauteng department of education was set to extend its learning technology to matric classrooms at 375 high schools in the province, it said on Monday.
“The programme, known as ‘the paperless classroom’, entails the usage of interactive boards, mobile devices such as tablets, laptops with complete internet connectivity to conduct teaching and learning,” said spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane.
“To this end the department has selected 375 high schools with Grade 12 classes, mainly in township and rural areas to participate in the programme.”
The technology roll-out would take place at the high schools on Tuesday.
She said over 4 000 Grade 12 classrooms had to be refurbished, ceilings replaced and fitted with specialised lights while blinds were also installed to improve lighting for the interactive boards.
“The department has also purchased over 17 000 tablets for Grade 12 learners and 1 800 3D LED interactive boards that were currently being installed in classrooms at the targeted schools.”
“There have been delays with installation at about 30 percent of the targeted 375 schools owing to some of these schools needing major infrastructural refurbishments. Contractors are on site and will work in the afternoons and weekends to avoid disrupting teaching and learning at the schools.”
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi first launched the use of tablets for teaching in Tembisa in January. The department said at the time it was aimed at ending the use of chalk boards by the end of the 2017/2018 financial year.
However, it emerged that thieves were targeting the tablets issued to pupils. The department had to recall the tablets from schools in February so they could be fitted with tracking devices.
Sekhonyane said the new tablets were already fitted with tracking devices this time around and that all schools were linked to the nearest police station for rapid response in cases of theft.
“The devices have been fitted with trackers to ensure that they are traceable should they get lost. The department is working very closely with law enforcement agencies to strengthen security at the schools,” she said.