News clipping – The Mercury – 19 April 2011

Blacklisted teachers can’t get PCs

A new initiative allowing teachers to buy government-subsidised laptops has been delayed because blacklisted teachers have been unable to secure credit.

The Department of Basic Education officially launched the rollout of computers in July last year but it has been slow in implementation.

Dhaya Govender, general secretary of the Education Labour Relations Council, which manages the rollout for the department, said yesterday that a new funding model had been agreed on. He said up to 40 percent of teachers had been blacklisted.

After discussions between the Department of Basic Education and National Treasury it had been decided that the government would finance the full cost of the laptops, including software and connectivity, and allow teachers to take loans from it, and pay it back free of interest.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union said the computers needed to be rolled out as a matter of urgency to improve the quality of teaching and learning in classrooms.

Jonavon Rustin, union provincial secretary, said it was important that teachers received their computers soon. He said teachers in disadvantaged areas in particular needed computers because their schools often did not have suitable teaching infrastructure.

By: Michelle Jones