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'2015 matrics must return 16,000 tablets'

The tablets were allocated during the launch of the e-learning project in Gauteng.

Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has called on the matric class of 2015 to return around 16,000 tablets allocated to them during the launch of the e-learning project across the province.

Last year, the department distributed 65,000 tablets to disadvantaged schools in Gauteng; only 45,000 were returned.

He says seven smart boards, which replaced traditional chalkboards, were stolen.

Lesufi says the theft of new technology in schools is disturbing.

"The crime rate is disturbing with our devices, it's very disturbing."

He says 10,000 of the tablets that were returned have been broken.

"Almost 10,000 came with broken screens and are not working. I mean these are young ones, it is natural."

The MEC has a clear message for last year's matrics who still haven't returned the government property.

"The remainder of tablets are still with matrics and we are asking them to bring them back so that the new learners can use them."

He also says all Grade 11 learners in Gauteng will use tablets and smart boards from April this year.

NEW TABLETS WILL BE MARKED

At the same time, the Gauteng Education Department says it's taking measures to ensure pupils who have been given new tablets use them strictly for educational purposes.

Lesufi says the new tablets will be marked "as property of the State" to prevent pupils from trying to sell them.

"Vodaworld does not know that this is State property. When you go to Vodaworld you ask them to 'flush it', which means to kill everything that's on it. A learner will then reload the things that they want and enjoy other things, which is wrong."

The paperless classrooms initiative, which began last year, kicks off again tomorrow at schools which obtained a 100% matric pass rate.