The Teacher Laptop initiative, where the Department of Education will make it possible for every full-time teacher in South Africa to buy their own laptop computer, officially launches tomorrow. R500-million has been earmarked to fund the project in the upcoming financial year.
Teachers are able to purchase any laptop computer that meets the minimum specifications gazetted by the Department and will receive the bulk of the outlay back in payments over a five-year period.
The teachers' union ELRC has, in addition, negotiated packages with certain suppliers on behalf of teachers. Laptops purchased through these suppliers may be financed and debited from teachers' salaries on the government's payroll system, Persal.
There are close to 400 000 qualifying teachers in South Africa. They will become eligible for the allowance in quarterly phases, beginning in the new financial year on 1 April 2010.