Public schools to go digital within six years: Cyril Ramaphosa

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Staff Reporter

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will digitise the public school education system over the next six years.

Delivering his state of the nation address on Thursday night, Ramaphosa said the basic education department would provide pupils with digital textbooks and tablet devices.

“We will provide every school child in SA with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.

“We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multi-grade, multi-phase, farm and rural schools,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said 90% of textbooks in high-enrolment subjects across all grades and all workbooks have already been digitised.

“In line with our ‘Framework for Skills for a Changing World’, we are expanding the training of both educators and learners to respond to emerging technologies including the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence,” he explained.

Ramaphosa also revealed that to expand pupil participation in the technical streams, several ordinary public schools will be transformed into technical high schools.

“Several new technology subjects and specialisations will be introduced, including technical mathematics and technical sciences, maritime sciences, aviation studies, mining sciences and aquaponics,” he added.

The president said he would also be establishing a presidential commission on the fourth industrial revolution.

“Comprised of eminent persons drawn from different sectors of society, the commission will serve as a national overarching advisory mechanism on digital transformation.

“It will identify and recommend policies, strategies and plans that will position SA as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space,” he said.

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