In the words of Gauteng’s MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, tomorrow seven schools will do away with dusters, chalk and blackboards as they officially launch paperless classrooms using tablets and interactive boards for teachers.

The main event will take place at Boitumelong Secondary School in Tembisa, where deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, minister of telecommunications and postal services Siyabonga Cwele, and the MEC himself will be among the dignitaries scheduled to officiate at the event.

The school was abuzz with students preparing for the big day tomorrow, all of them, as well as their teachers have already been trained on how to use the entire system and are already set to start learning and from what we heard from them, they can’t wait to get straight to work.

“I’m excited about the paperless classrooms because we see technology is changing the world and makes life easier, so I think it will help improve our marks because we can get more information and are able to download school material from our homes or carry on with extra learning and lessons,” says Gugulethu Motha, a grade eight learner at Boitumelong Secondary.

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Gugulethu Motha (left).

“Life and learning will be easier,” says Lucky Mohale, a grade nine learner, “Textbooks can’t store as much info as tablets and the internet can. You can also use a tablet to watch videos that explain things you may not understand and help you catch up on lessons you miss.”

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Lucky Mohale.

“So far I’m enjoying using the tablets and the new technology. We no longer have to carry textbooks around with us everywhere we go and we no longer have to write and learn from books. Everything is in here on this one thing,” Mohale’s classmate, Koketso Mashiane added.

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Koketso Mashiane.

Ntombi Maphanga, a teacher at Boitumelong Secondary, says the time is just right to introduce elearning in classrooms because students are interested technology and understand it so well.

“The learners are so much more interactive, attentive and excited about lessons. They’ve enjoyed using the tablets so far. It also going to make it easier for me to prepare lessons from home on my laptop and put everything on a USB memory stick, bring it to school and start my lessons. It’s made the experience 100% better for me as well,” she elaborated.

“Gauteng is the new Jerusalem. We want every township school to be paperless by the 2017/2018 financial year,” says MEC Lesufi. “A township learner will no longer be disadvantaged, they will be like any other learner in private and so-called Model C schools. These kids will no longer survive on social grants,” says MEC Lesufi, “but they will survive on the skills they learn.”