Dignitaries filed into a large marquee at a school in Tembisa, Johannesburg, early on Wednesday morning for the launch of the Smart Schools paperless education project in Gauteng.
Boitumelong Secondary School was one of seven Gauteng township schools which would undergo “the big switch on”.
The project would be launched by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi and Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina were also expected to attend.
Lesufi addressed media at the school on Tuesday, a day before the official launch of the project.
“Tomorrow morning in this school, we are officially burying the chalk board, we are officially burying the duster, we are officially burying the chalk,” he said.
“Gone are the days when they have to write in exercise books and hand in the assignment.”
The department hopes to roll the project out to all Gauteng township and rural schools by the end of the 2017/2018 financial year at an estimated cost of R17 billion.
All high school children will be provided with a tablet computer and Grade seven pupils in primary schools will be trained to use the devices.
At the launch, a number of people walked around wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “wired for life”.
A procession was expected to go to Soshanguve South Secondary School later in the morning to launch the project there too.