GDE pleads with learners to return tablets and textbooks

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Panyaza Lesufi, urges parents to get kids to school.
Gauteng education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi. Source: GCIS

Thabo Mohlala

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) wants all learners to hand in their textbooks and tablets as soon as they finish writing examinations tomorrow.

In October the department launched the ‘Textbooks and Tablet Retrieval Campaign’ in Hammanskraal. Going by the slogan: “We Receive, We Care For, We Use, We Return Textbooks and Tablets”; the initiative aims to “instil discipline and a sense of responsibility amongst learners”.

The department said, in the media statement, that this will help it to properly manage resources and ensure that in the next academic year other learners could be afforded the same opportunity.

“It must be noted that the safe return of study material enables the department to plan on time for 2018 so that when schools reopen for the new academic year, teaching and learning is ready to commence,” read the GDE statement.

The department urged parents and school governing bodies to get actively involved in reminding their children to return the learning material to ensure the 100% retrieval of all the learning materials across the province.

MEC for Education in Gauteng, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, warned: “Withholding the department’s learning material is tantamount to theft and they are likely to be held criminally liable.”

Lesufi invested a lot of resources into the ICT programmes which he said he wanted to roll out to every school in the province.

But in her recent mid-term provincial budget, finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, did not allocate additional funding for the GDE’s classroom digital programme. The GDE’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, told Inside Education that due to financial constraints, they would have to halt their ICT expansion plans. The textbook retrieval campaign must be seen as an attempt by the department retrieve every piece of the gadget they issued.

Schools are ordered to label the devices which must be returned with a charger and Proline tablets with keyboards. The schools are also required to submit the signed, updated and typed out Learner Tablet Asset Register including the soft copy version of the Asset Register to indicate the serial number of each device, model and classification.

The GDE said the tablet devices and chargers returned to the schools will help determine the same number of tablets and chargers to be re-distributed to each respective school for the 2018 academic year roll-out. No additional tablet and chargers will be provided, said the department. It is urgent for learners to return textbooks and tablets after the final examinations to make sure readiness and access to quality education in our province, added GDE.

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