Following a five-year delay, South African primary and secondary education teachers have now welcomed the release of the Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI), officially launched last week by the Education Deputy Minister. The initiative focuses on improving ICT usage in education by ensuring that every teacher owns and uses a laptop, by providing them with allowances to both purchase the laptop and to cover some of the expenses required to maintain updated software and connectivity. Last Thursday, following the TLI launch, teachers nationwide received a brief training session that included instruction on computer literacy, connectivity of email and the Internet, and inclusion of various software packages into lesson plans.
Gijima Ast, a South Africa ICT company, has partnered with the Lenovo Consortium to supply, distribute, and support all laptops that were ordered as part of the TLI. These services will be provided by GijimaAsts's Distributed Computing Services business unit, which maintains itself to be a center of excellence specializing in the provision of infrastructure support services according to specific client needs. Each laptop that will be distributed includes hardware with minimum specifications, Internet connectivity capabilities, insurance, and software programs such as school administration directories and national curriculum software. The Education Labour Relations council, the institution in charge of managing TLI, aims to use this partnership to supply approximately 360,000 teachers in South Africa with laptops of their own.
(Sources: ITNewsAfrica, 7th Space Interactive, and GijimaAst)