Grab the opportunities and run, Ramaphosa tells students

2015-01-14 10:11

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The first day of the academic year featured song, dance and a visit from the deputy president at Tembisa’s Boitumelong Secondary School.

The school is one of seven in Gauteng that’s piloting e-learning and has swapped chalkboards for tablets.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi were all on hand to celebrate the school’s step into the future.

Ramaphosa chatted to a group of pupils armed with their new tablets.

“You are very very lucky and fortunate to be in this class and have such a knowledgeable teacher,” Ramaphosa told the youngsters.

“She is the best teacher I’ve come across. You are also very lucky to have such an MEC [Lesufi] who thinks out of the box. You also have a clever premier [David Makhura]. These are the people who are making this possible for all of you and all of us. You are in the classroom of the future.

“Grab the opportunities and run, acquire knowledge and be the best you can be.”

Addressing hundreds of visitors and pupils in a marquee at the school, Lesufi said: “We are here to collectively declare that the education of an African child will never be the same again. This school is declaring the chalkboard, duster and the chalk history and history forever. Never again will the future of African children be determined by where they come from. Today marks the beginning of hope in the life of the African child.”

The school has the fastest internet connection in the country, Lesufi said.

Makhura told the bright-eyed pupils they were “lucky, fortunate and privileged”.

Gauteng, he said, aimed to become the technical hub of South Africa and the continent.

He also said that the tablets used in Gauteng’s schools will be produced in South Africa.

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