- The Eastern Cape Department of Education is facing the daunting task of ensuring 55 000 tablets are returned from Grade 12 learners who were provided with them to assist in learning
- Media reports suggest the Eastern Cape Department of Education has since taken the matter to the courts of law to get the 55 000 gadgets back
- Briefly News has discovered that the devices were supposed to have been returned to the Department of Education by October last year
The embattled Eastern Cape provincial government is working around the clock to ensure it retrieves thousands tablets that were lent to Grade 12 pupils. Media reports have surfaced that the provincial government and the Department of Education are finding it difficult to get the gadgets back.
It is reported by TimesLIVE that the department is sitting with a headache regarding a plan to retrieve the 47 000 digital gadgets that were handed to learners in 2020.
The publication also has it that the cost of the electronic tools is worth a staggering million rand.
Based in Bhisho, the department has since confirmed that the learners have yet to return the tablets after they were loaned to them to help conduct their classes virtually since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
Meanwhile, the department has also made it on record that only 7, 931 of 55 000 devices have been recovered as the gadgets were issued to 510 of the poorest schools as of July and October 2020 last year.
Moreover, the Gqeberha-based radio station, Algoa FM has it that Democratic Alliance MP Yusuf Cassim is of the view that the department should have retrieved the gadgets in October last year. Cassim said:
"The department is now threatening learners who have missed the mid-April cut-off date with instituting criminal procedures against them if they have not returned their tablets."
While the departmental spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima could not give a comment, the regional station indicated that the issue is before the courts.
In similar news, Briefly News reported that Nontle Nako took almost eight years off work to study was fired from her position as a deputy chief education specialist.
She had been studying for a psychology doctorate in the US. She was fired but has been reinstated and has won R2 million in back-pay. She appealed her termination by the Eastern Cape Education Department where she asked for R3.4 million in back-pay.
This was declined by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) arbitrator. Instead, she got another offer of just over R2 million, which covered her salary for six weeks when she returned from America and the period after she was fired in 2016, according to Times Live.
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