Ramaphosa lauds Gauteng for ‘Schools of the Future’ project

As a symbol of blessings and new beginnings, rain showered on the fields of Tembisa school Boitumelong when Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa along with Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, Premier of Gauteng David Makhura and MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi launched the ‘Schools of the Future’ project.

Recognising the role of information communication technology has played in revolutionising the lives of many and how business is conducted, Ramaphosa said, “The economies of the 21st century are rapidly becoming knowledge based economies.

“To thrive in the 21st century, we need to acquire new skills and be able to adapt to a rapidly-changing work environment.”

Recognising the shortage of e-skills in South Africa, the ‘Big Switch On’ project was seen as necessary step towards addressing how the country drifted down to 70th in a World Economic Forum report which indicated the country’s global e-readiness.

Ramaphosa said, “It demonstrates an appreciation of the opportunity that information technology provides for more efficient distribution of learning material and as a tool for more effective teaching.

“It enables educators and learners to access resources that exist beyond the walls of the classroom. Indeed, it enables them to access resources from the other side of the globe. It gives them access to the world.”

The deputy president also called on the private sector to play a major role in ensuring that this groundbreaking initiative succeeds, is sustained and is replicated in other provinces.

He said, “In the spirit of rebuilding our country and in giving young people opportunities, the private sector should take a particular interest in rural and township schools.

“We therefore welcome the involvement of those companies that have made a contribution to upgrading the infrastructure at this school.”

On the 40th anniversary of this historic school, Ramaphosa called on all stakeholders to recommit to the achievement of the objective of teaching the youth to love their people and culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace.

“Let us recommit ourselves to an education that expands minds as it expands opportunities.

“Let us recommit ourselves to an education that changes lives as it changes society and let the doors of learning and culture be opened,” he concluded.

Malcolm Maifala

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