MS Office: budget hitch for schools

2012-04-25 00:00

THE KZN Education Department declined to comment yesterday on the problems facing schools trying to offer computer technology as a subject since the department has not paid the required software licensing fees.

Beeld reported last month that thousands of pupils had not been able to do any practicals because the fees of R450 per machine for MS Office 2007 had not been paid.

At the time the department said the payment had been authorised.

But an informed source this week forwarded to Beeld a letter from the department to schools informing them that there was no budget for the licences.

The letter says the department had been in discussions with Microsoft since May 2010 to negotiate a discount, but there are still issues outstanding.

Schools were advised to negotiate with Microsoft themselves.

The licences can run to thousands of rands per school. Many schools do not have money for this after buying textbooks, and many are no-fee schools that depend on state financing.

Many schools still use the 2003 version of the software.

The department did not respond yesterday to a written request for comment.

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