Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng premier David Makhura unveiled the first “classroom of the future” in a step towards paperless education at a school in Tembisa, Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“I’ve already made an application, I want to join you in this class,” Ramaphosa told pupils at Boitumelo Secondary School.
The Smart Schools project was being launched at seven Gauteng township schools.
After Ramaphosa and Makhura unveiled a plaque in one of the classrooms it was time for “the big switch on”.
Ramaphosa pressed a button on one of the two big computer screens that took the place of a chalkboard at the front of the classroom, switching them on to cheers and applause.
He then sat in the front row of the classroom while a teacher demonstrated how the system worked.
There were cheers as pupils answered a question on their new tablet computers and the answers popped up on one of the computer screens.
“You are very lucky to be in this school, to be in this class,” Ramaphosa said.
He told pupils to grab the opportunity to be the best they could be.
Earlier, basic education minister Angie Motshekga unveiled the school’s new “science smart” facility.
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi and Makhura also unveiled the Harry Gwala Centre for training.
They were accompanied by members of Gwala’s family.
Gwala was a teacher and an ANC and South African Communist Party organiser and leader during the struggle against apartheid. — Sapa