Gauteng education department to refurbish 4,000 matric classrooms

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will officially launch the roll-out of its technology enabled teaching and learning programme to Grade 12 learners in the Gauteng province, on Tuesday, 21 July.

Dubbed ‘the paperless classroom’ – entails the installation of interactive boards, and use of mobile devices such as tablets, laptops with complete internet connectivity to conduct teaching and learning.

To this end the GDE said it has selected 375 high schools with Grade 12 classes, mainly in township and rural areas to participate in the programme.

Over 4,000 matric classrooms have had to be re-furbished, ceilings replaced and fitted with specialised lights, blinds installed to improve lighting for the interactive boards.

The education department is preparing to reboot the R17 billion digital classrooms project, following a number of thefts with tablets and laptops having to be recalled from township schools.

The department said it has since beefed up security.

The department said it has purchased over 17,000 tablets for Grade 12 learners and 1,800 3D LED interactive boards that are currently being installed in matric classrooms at the targeted schools.

“The interactive boards, fitted with world class teaching software, are fully integrated with the learners’ tablets for ease of interaction during the delivery of lessons.

“The GDE is working very closely with Law Enforcement Agencies to strengthen security at the schools, all schools are linked to their nearest police stations for rapid response. The devices have been fitted with trackers to ensure that they are traceable should they get lost,” it said.

There have been delays with installation at about 30% 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. The deadline for the completion of this work has been set for the end of August 2015,” the department said.

More on Gauteng’s smart schools project

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Gauteng withdraws 88,000 tablets from schools because of theft

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Gauteng launches R17 billion digital classrooms project

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Gauteng education department to refurbish 4,000 matric classrooms