n Journal of Public Administration - Is Gauteng on-line or off-line? An empirical study of the Gauteng Department of Education
|Article Title||Is Gauteng on-line or off-line? An empirical study of the Gauteng Department of Education|
|© Publisher:||South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM)|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration|
|Publication Date||Mar 2011|
|Pages||709 - 719|
|Keyword(s)||University of South Africa|
Gauteng Online was a personal project initiated by the then Premier of Gauteng, Mbazhima Shilowa in 2001 to equip public schools with computers. The Gauteng Online Directorate in the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) was given the responsibility of managing the project to its completion. Later the project was handed over to Gauteng Shared Service Centre (GSSC). The aim was to build a computer network in 2 128 public schools throughout the province that would introduce learners to basic computer skills such as the use of email and Internet services for effective and efficient curriculum delivery, to improve the access to information by disabled learners, and ultimately to supply tertiary institutions and the job market with students who are computer skilled, which would improve the country's economic growth.
This article argues that while there has been significant progress made since the introduction of the Gauteng Online (GoL) project, there has been some unprecedented challenges in its implementation that have caused the GDE to not realise its goal. The challenges that contribute to the slow progress in the implementation of the project are, among others, alleged irregularities in the awarding of tenders, poor management, lack of ownership of the project by local communities, theft of installed computers at schools, and inadequate training provided to school-based educators in the use of computers. The article further argues that stakeholders involvement, particularly communities where schools are, is crucial for the success of any community project.
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