The official rollout of the Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI) is finally here. The process was preceded by months of intense deliberations and careful planning to finally arrive at this moment where information communication technology (ICT) integration in public schools across the country, becomes a reality.
The Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI), managed by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), addresses South Africa's need for a quality education system and forms part of the cohesive plan by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and other stakeholders in education to improve the overall quality of education by making resources available to learners and teachers in the public education sector.
The ICT packages for teachers consist of a laptop with prescribed minimum specifications, school administration, national curriculum and other software, as well as internet connectivity, insurance and finance, as per the requirements of Government Gazette 32207.
Qualifying teachers will receive a monthly allowance of R130.00 (taxable) and are required to fund the difference between the allowance (R130.00) and the monthly repayments of the package. Most of the packages from the provisionally accredited suppliers cost between R250.00 and R390.00 per month. The repayments are spread over a period of five years.
The 12 provisionally accredited consortia/suppliers participating in the first phase of the TLI are: Dell/Laptitude; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Lenovo; MTN, Pinnacle Technologies Holdings Limited; Sahara Systems; Telkom/Mustek; Vodacom, LG and Cell C.
These provisionally accredited service providers have identified outlets or “one stop shops” where a teacher may purchase the complete package (including the finance agreement). The provisionally accredited service providers have a “good, better, best” range of packages where the maximum all-inclusive monthly repayment will not exceed R390.00.
The rollout launch, to take place on 15 July 2010 at Lotus Gardens Primary, will have a key focus on training and development, particularly ICT, computer literacy and pedagogy. There will be brief demonstrations on connectivity (email and internet), and the use of the various software packages to illustrate the different ways in which ICT can be incorporated in the classroom. The wide range of products that teachers can choose from will also be displayed at the rollout launch.
The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, MP, will deliver the keynote address. The President of South African Democratic Teachers' Union(SADTU), Mr Thobile Ntola, as well as the President of National Association of Professional Teachers of South Africa(NAPTOSA), Mr Ezra Ramasehla on behalf of the Combined Trade Union – ITU, will also address the meeting. Other prominent stakeholders who will be attending the rollout launch include the leadership of the educator trade unions, SADTU; SAOU; NATU; NAPTOSA and Professional Educators UnionPEU as well as members of the 12 consortia and the strategic partners to the initiative.
The media is formally invited to this gathering to take place as follows:
Date: 15 July 2010
Venue: Lotus Gardens Primary School, 131 Cyme Crescent, Lotus Gardens, Pretoria West