The Department of Basic Education is making headway on the national rollout of coding and robotics, with Grade R to 3 pupils from 200 schools to participate in a pilot programme using a draft curriculum this year.
Grade 7 pupils from 1 000 schools will also be piloting the curriculum, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during the Education Lekgotla on February 25.
He noted that the draft coding and robotics curriculum had been submitted to education and training accreditation provider Umalusi for evaluation and quality assurance, adding that a draft curriculum would soon be gazetted.
“If we are to seize the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, our education system must be reoriented towards its development in our country. Studies show that the country lags behind in the information technology skills needed for the digital revolution.”
“It will not be possible for us to build an e-skilled economy as envisaged in the National Development Plan if we do not pay attention to subject areas at basic education level. However, focus on these new areas should not come at the expense of basic skills such as reading for comprehension,” he said.
Ramaphosa stated that the economic recovery should be beneficial to all, including learners.
“One of the key focus areas of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is boosting education and skills development. It underscores the need to intensify efforts to ensure connectivity and equitable access to data. This calls for stronger public-private partnerships to ensure we mobilise the necessary resources to help our learners.”
He added that schools must teach skills that will both support the growth of the economy and enable financial inclusion.
Equipping learners with the knowledge and skills for a changing world necessitated a relook at these critical subject areas and the curriculum in general.