DA criticises education dept for stolen tablets

The DA criticised the Gauteng Education Department for not installing tracking devices on all tablets.

A Boitumelong Secondary School pupil listens attentively during a lesson, Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has criticised the Gauteng Education Department for not installing tracking devices on all tablets in paperless classrooms.

Earlier this week, the department announced 88,000 tablets would be recalled from schools to install tracking devices.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said 3,000 tablets have been stolen this year alone.

The DA's Ashor Sarupen says teachers have also not been trained to use the tablets.

"The tablets were procured with problems and there was corruption found of a tender."

The paperless teaching programme was launched in January this year by Lesufi.

Launching the programme, he said schools would receive state-of-the-art internet connections at no expense to government.

Lesufi visited seven schools in Tembisa after supplying students and teachers with tablets and training to conduct lessons online.

The MEC said the use of textbooks and chalkboards during lessons has proven to waste crucial learning time, especially in poorer schools that do not have enough resources for everyone.

He added that South Africa's internet providers are compelled by the Constitution to contribute to online teaching and have not hesitated to do so.