Former Gauteng matric learners who are yet to return tablets provided for them by the provincial department of education last year may face criminal charges.

Gauteng MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi, issued the warning today, noting that 4 000 tablets are still missing from 16 000 that were unaccounted for at the beginning  of this year, 12 000 of which have since been returned.

Originally, over 65 000 tablets were distributed last year to matric learners in 337 schools as part of the Paperless Classrooms project.

By the end of 2015, the education department experienced challenges such as theft and vandalism, compounded by the non-returns.

“Learners have found the device helpful and when they’re going to university, they have to hand it over and start using ball point pens, so they decide they would rather stick to using tablets,” Lesufi explained to htxt.africa at a briefing last month.

The MEC again urged learners to return tablets, or the department will be forced to open criminal cases against them.

Lesufi added that his department will announce a date for when  all grade 11 classrooms’ will be furnished with ICT tablets, laptops and smartboards.

[Image – CC Wikimedia Commons]