1 June 2009
South Africa’s Department of Education is set to launch a Teacher Laptop Initiative that will make teachers permanently employed by the state eligible for a monthly allowance to buy a laptop computer from 1 July.
The department says in a statement that the initiative is part of its strategy to improve information communication technologies (ICTs) in teaching and learning in South Africa.
ICT in teaching, learning
A monthly allowance will be paid to qualifying teachers – selected by provincial education departments based on their seniority – for a period of five years, renewable every five years, upon proof of acquiring the computer.
The allowance prices a laptop with the minimum required specifications at about R11 750, comprising R4 000 for the hardware, discounted software at R350, insurance at R1 200 and internet connectivity at R6 000 per annum, which equates to a stipend of about R195 per month.
According to minimum specifications set by the department, available in the Government Gazette of 8 May, the laptops must have a 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB of memory, a DVD reader/writer, wired and wireless LAN and a voice-fax modem for internet connectivity.
Software loaded on the laptop will include Windows XP or higher, Microsoft Office 2007, anti-virus software, school administration and national curriculum software, and teacher development materials.
In return, teachers will have to make the laptop available for inspection by education department officials, e-mail the department each month, and allow the principal to verify that the laptop is being used and take a register.
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