Three people have been nabbed for being in possession of smart boards taken from Gauteng paperless classrooms.
The paperless classrooms which put an end to the use of chalkboards were introduced in some township schools by Gauteng education department. Smart boards were installed in the classrooms and pupils, mainly in Grade 12, were provided with tablets.
One of the suspects appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court yesterday after his arrest on Friday. The case was postponed for further investigation after the first hearing.
The tracker system installed in the smart boards led the cops to his home in Protea Glen, Soweto where he was arrested for being in possession of the smart boards.
The state opposed bail for the suspect yesterday on the grounds that further investigations needed to be carried out on the legality of the man in the country.
The state proposed that the man was a flight risk as he is a Mozambican in possession of two South African identity documents.
Meanwhile, another man was arrested in Krugersdorp on the West Rand last week. He was said to be watching the screen of the smart board which he connected to his DStv when police grabbed him.
The third man was also arrested in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, for being in possession of a smart board which he claimed he had bought with his money.
Spokesman for acting Gauteng education department Oupa Bodibe said the tracking system which was installed earlier this year has led to the recovery of several smart boards.
But the boards which were stolen before the tracking system was installed are yet to be recovered.
There is no specification of exactly how many smart boards were stolen and how many have been recovered. It is however saddening to know that each tablet costs R120000 but Bodibe said they had been informed that they are sold for a meagre R3000.
The consistent theft recorded in Gauteng paperless classrooms did not discourage Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi from continuing to roll out the advanced technology to township schools in the province.
During his budget speech last week, Lesufi revealed that the department has allocated R1.062-billion for information and communications technology.
He also declared the intention of the department to extend the Gauteng paperless classrooms project to Grade 11 in 2016/2017, while Grades 9 and 10 will benefit in 2017/2018 followed by Grade 8 in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.