The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) today officially launched its technology-enabled teaching and learning programme to Grade 12 learners in the Gauteng province. The programme, commonly known as “the paperless classroom”, entails the usage of interactive boards, mobile devices such as tablets, and laptops with complete Internet connectivity to conduct teaching and learning. To this end, the GDE has selected 375 high schools with Grade 12 classes, mainly in township and rural areas to participate in the programme.

More than 4 000 matric classrooms have had to be refurbished, ceilings replaced and fitted with specialised lights, blinds installed to improve lighting for the interactive boards. The department has also purchased over 17 000 tablets for Grade 12 learners and 1 800 3D LED interactive boards that are currently being installed in matric classrooms at the targeted schools.

The interactive boards, fitted with world class teaching software, are fully integrated with the learners’ tablets for ease of interaction during the delivery of lessons. The GDE is working very closely with law enforcement agencies to strengthen security at the schools, all schools are linked to their nearest police stations for rapid response. The devices have been fitted with trackers to ensure that they are traceable should they get lost.

There have been delays with installation at about 30% of the targeted 375 schools owing to some of these schools needing major infrastructural refurbishments. Contractors are on site and will work in the afternoons and weekends to avoid disrupting teaching and learning at the schools. The deadline for the completion of this work has been set for the end of August 2015.