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South Africa to Add Robotics & Coding to School Curriculum

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced that it will be adding robotics and coding to the South African curriculum.

According to the annual performance plan 2022/2023 which was released by the department recently, the full-scale implementation for Grade R to Grade 3, and Grade 7 is planned for the academic year 2023. For other grades from 4 to 9, the two subjects of robotics and coding will be on the pilot from 2022 to 2023, and their full-scale in these grades will be seen between 2024 and 2025.

The department says that teaching children in lower grades robotics and coding will equip them with digital skills which are required to land them jobs in this era. The subjects will expose learners to digital literacy, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Media24, three subjects, which are Kiswahili Entrepreneurship, Robotics, and Coding were successfully trialed in 54 schools for Grade R to 9 in 2021.

“Learners should be equipped with entrepreneurial skills that encourage job creation responding to education skills transfer for the future. The emphasis will be on improving learners’ skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Financial and Scientific Literacy, along with critical thinking problem-solving; creativity; communication; and collaboration,” the annual performance plan reads.

“The sector will be focussing on a curriculum response to skills; the preparation of teachers for curriculum digitisation; teaching and learning methodology change and the integration of ICT skills in the Three Stream Model.”

DBE said that teachers are the strength of the department and it must strive to capacitate educators in soft skills and curriculum support in collaboration and inclusivity with education partners and stakeholders.

“As Coding and Robotics is a new initiative, the focus will be on the upskilling of teachers to be trained to teach this new subject in collaboration with Higher Education Institutions,” DBE said.

By Zintle Nkohla

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