The Gauteng Department of Education may have wrong footed a lot of people with its announcement that it wants to make every school in the province all-digital within the next few years, but its not allowing a few doubters to slow its hand. One of the first plans that MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi told reporters he wanted to push ahead is to base every new school on the textbook free Sunward Park in Boksburg.

And now the department has a name for them.

Infrastructure development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza announced on Tuesday that the province would be setting up 11 new “smart” schools, with construction to start in the coming months.

“The smart schools will incorporate technological learning in classrooms boasting connectivity, Promethean boards, visual screens, and technology training centres,” she said during a press briefing.

She also added that they are in the process of developing prototype designs for the new schools based on the smart classroom concept. Prior to the announcement, the department has put out a call for people to come forward who have interesting idea that can be incorporated into the smart schools project.

“The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is committed to accelerating the use of ICT in education as part of its strategy to improve teaching and learning in all schools. The GDE seeks to ensure that schooling in Gauteng benefits from new developments in technology and from other educational innovations that can enhance the delivery of quality education,” they said in a media statement.

Mayathula-Khoza that the smart schools project is just one aspect of a broader picture, as R1.3 billion has been set aside, not only for smart technology, but also to refurbish other schools, erecting fencing, and installing septic tanks around the province.

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Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.