Laptops for Teachers … at last!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 | laptops

It took forever to dot each i and to cross the last t but at long last the Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI) is underway.

Announced in the Government Gazette 32207 of May 2009, the TLI took many twists and turns as it tried to surface through bundles of bureaucratic red tape.  Many teachers thought the programme would never come off the ground, but they will be happy to know that all obstacles have been removed and that the TLI is now a reality.

Mustek has been appointed by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) as an “approved supplier” to supply a choice of three different packages to teachers.  These packages differ with regards to processing capacity and data bundles for internet access, but they all come with a warranty, comprehensive insurance and pre-loaded software to the value of nearly R40 000.

Full-time government teachers qualify for an allowance of R130 over a five year period (total of R7 800).  Teachers who are employed by School Governing Bodies and private schools may also purchase these superb packages, but unfortunately they do not qualify for the allowance.

Teachers should contemplate the total value of the packages offered by Mustek before they think of buying a cheap laptop from an electronics supermarket.  These packages are good, comprehensive deals and are difficult to beat.

With a laptop in their hands teachers will be able to cross the digital divide, bringing us a step closer to an e-learning reality in our schools.

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1 Comment to Laptops for Teachers … at last!

Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

This has taken a long time and I still do not advise educators to buy into taking the government’s deal (and I work for government). Too expensive, too long and too prescriptive. I would advise educators to buy a laptop directly from Mustek or any other reputable dealer who will give them good advice. MSOffice they can install from a school network, they just need an unlock key as they are covered by the MS Schools agreement or alternatively they can get LibreOffice/Openoffice/KOffice etc free off the internet of contact people like me who can provide free software at the cost of a CD with a few rands added to cover my home internet cost.

I would advise teachers either to save money for 12 months and then buy or alternatively buy it on credit card via the budget option for 12 or 24 months. I did the former recently for my wife (a teacher). It works out better than the government deal.

I have not checked this out but I have been informed that Telkom also gives good deals. They are a few cell companies also giving reasonable deals, but as the saying goes:”beware the buyer”.

A laptop for a teacher is a must, not a luxury. It is a worthwhile investment for teaching, administration and fun.

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