Gauteng budgets almost R1bn for 2 000 smart classrooms next year
The Gauteng provincial government has revealed how it plans to spend R800 million towards implementing its elearning initiatives around the province in the 2015/16 financial year.
The province’s MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, delivered the Gauteng Department of Education on Friday under the theme “Accessing quality education for all in Gauteng”.
Lesufi reiterated his department’s goal to introduce high standards of teaching and learning in the province through the introduction of paperless classrooms and elearning curriculums, particularity in under privileged schools.
Lesufi mentioned the implementation of a two-step process to train and equip teachers with necessary skills. the first is a tech-enabled learning model, based on the use of smart boards and digital exercises and lessons in classrooms, to be introduced by 2019.
The second is a blended learning classroom model, to be introduced in the long-term and involves employing more multimedia in lessons. It also involves “creating a more learner-paced educational environment where the teacher manages multiple groups of learners working on different tasks,” Lesufi said.
“By the end of 2019, between 5% and 10% of schools (100-200) are expected to have full blended learning in place. The rest should have tech-enabled learning and be ready to graduate to blended learning,” he added.
The “paperless” system will also be introduced on the administrative side of things to help speed up processes and better capture information.
The plans involve bringing WiFi infrastructure, equipment and devices (including tablets and smartboards) to schools, and connecting 200 schools to the Gauteng Broadband network. Some of the budget will also go towards installing elearning resources in all Grade 12 classroom in the province’s 375 no fee schools.
“Gauteng has a vision to be a top performer on par with developed countries, and we believe we will achieve this by introducing increasingly “paperless classrooms”: a combination of technologies to address these gaps in teaching quality, learner engagement and school administration,” Lesufi said.[Source – Gauteng Department of Education]