Gauteng Communities Vandalising & Plundering Schools - Tablets Withdrawn

Johannesburg – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has announced that the department will regrettably be withdrawing a total of 88 000 tablets from schools across the province following the recent spate of burglaries.

He said there have been a series of burglaries at schools in the province as people want to steal tablets that the department handed over to schools.

The MEC has written letters to school principals to bring back all the tablets that the department has given to schools with immediate effect, so that the department can enhance the security.

The MEC was speaking on Thursday about the vandalism of school property by protesting community members in Etwatwa, in Benoni.

The MEC said he was saddened and deeply disappointed by the violent protests which saw all the schools in the area vandalised.

He said schools fences were vandalised, as well as chairs, tables and windows, adding that it was unfortunate that communities target schools when they have issues of service delivery that had nothing to do with education.

He said computers were also vandalised in some schools and this had disrupted the daily running of schools in the area.

“When these people break into our schools looking for tablets, they end up taking other things,” said MEC Lesufi.

He said a total of 88 000 tablets that were handed over to schools in the province will regrettably be withdrawn.

However, the MEC said the withdrawal of tablets will not affect the paperless classrooms initiative in schools.

He said 11 tablets have been stolen and five of them have been recovered. The remaining six will be traced and recovered as soon as they are switched on.

“In one school they went on to set alight learners’ scripts and textbooks. It is winter, learners will be sitting in classrooms without windows. Teachers cannot even prepare for lessons due to vandalism of school property,” said MEC Lesufi.

“It is sad that schools and churches are main targets when communities go on protests. We request the police to strengthen their patrolling services around schools to secure the future of our children,” said the MEC.

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