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Shoprite launches new robotics labs for local high schools

Shoprite launches new robotics labs for local high schools

7th February 2024

     

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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.

Sashnee Moodley:

As part of the first phase of technology support for various schools around South Africa, the Shoprite Foundation facilitated the launch of two fully equipped robotics laboratories at the Mountview and Verulam high schools in KwaZulu Natal, last month. Sabrina Jardim tells us more.

Sabrina Jardim:

The Shoprite Foundation has invested R1.6-million in robotics infrastructure equipment, course work and teaching. Shoprite Foundation managing trustee Maude Modise noted that the two schools were selected to launch the robotics initiative as the Department of Education pilots coding and robotics as a school subject.

Shoprite Foundation managing trustee Maude Modise:

Sabrina Jardim:

The Foundation commissioned Sifiso Edtech – a local company specialising in delivering turnkey robotics hubs – to provide the necessary infrastructure, robotics kits, teaching material and training.

Sifiso Edtech head of digital learning and technology Xoliswa Mahlangu noted that one of the biggest challenges faced by South African learners concerns the lack of exposure and access to the correct tools, explaining that the robotics laboratory will thus allow learners to have access to these tools.

Sifiso Edtech head of digital learning and technology Xoliswa Mahlangu:

Sabrina Jardim:

During a panel discussion, Mahlangu explained that Sifiso needed to understand the existing infrastructure available at the schools, as well as the internet connectivity in the rooms to ensure that the laboratory would be conducive to learning.

In addition to the laboratories, in-person and online training for teachers, as well as lesson plans, presentations and worksheets, are also provided.

Sifiso Edtech head of digital learning and technology Xoliswa Mahlangu:

Sabrina Jardim:

Durban University of Technology mechatronic engineering lecturer Tyrone Bright noted during the panel discussion that robotics education could also assist with building pupils’ problem-solving skills.

Durban University of Technology mechatronic engineering lecturer Tyrone Bright:

Sifiso Edtech head of digital learning and technology Xoliswa Mahlangu:

Sabrina Jardim:

In addition to funding the laboratory set up, kits and teaching aids, the Shoprite Foundation also donated laptop computers and tablets to the two schools.

Meanwhile, the Shoprite Group has also provided a Consumer Studies laboratory for the Mountview Secondary School – funded by the Shoprite Foundation – to encourage entrepreneurial endeavours among learners. This facility was also launched last month.

Mountview High School principal Indran Govender expressed that the new facility could help muster confidence in pupils and help provide them with skills in the culinary field, whereby they could learn to sustain themselves.

Mountview Secondary School principal Indran Govender:

Sashnee Moodley:

That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy. Don’t forget to listen to the audio version of our Engineering News daily email newsletter.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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