The South African government is set to introduce coding curricula in the South African education system. According to DBE (Department of Basic Education), 43774 teachers have already been equipped with different computer skills and in a short while, the teachers will start receiving training for the new coding curricula.
When the minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga was asked about the coding training, she said that it will commence in June and end on September this year.
In March, Angie said that the University of South Africa is closely working with the DBE to ensure a smooth running of the training process. UNISA has made sure that their 24 ICT laboratories are available throughout the country to accommodate the 72,000 teachers who will be trained in coding, she said.
Google, Teen Geeks, and other businesses have also partnered with the DBE to develop a coding platform that uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This platform will enhance more effective teaching and learning among teachers and learners, Motshekga added.
“The curricula will ensure that our schooling system produces learners with the foundations for future work, and equip them with skills for the changing world,” she said
She also said that a robotics curriculum will be introduced from Grade R-9. She said that learners will be equipped with programming knowledge to enable them to build and operate robots.
“This robotics curriculum will not require any infrastructure or devices, but will need maker spaces to provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent; e.g., through cardboard construction activities,” she said.
“This will not only develop STEM skills, but also contribute to effectively developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking, and digital skills.
“This will ensure that South Africa develops learners who are makers and inventors who will contribute to building an innovative culture in South Africa,” she added
In recent months, the government has been focusing on making the education sector more digitalized. When President Ramaphosa was addressing the state in February, he said that in the next six years, the government will ensure that each learner in South Africa will be provided with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.
Ramaphosa also said that the DBE will ensure that both the teachers and the learners are equipped with the relevant knowledge to curb the different tech emerging issues, including the robotics and artificial intelligence.
In addition to robotic and coding education, other subjects and specifications will also be introduced. They include:
- Aviation studies;
- Maritime sciences;
- Technical mathematics;
- Mining sciences;
- Technical sciences;
Since a lot of technical education is required to achieve these goals, Ramaphosa revealed that several ordinary public schools will be changed into technical high schools.