MORE than 400 learners from Tsiki Naledi Primary School in Hendrina, Mpumalanga will benefit from a new state of the art computer laboratory at the school. Among other things, the laboratory gives learners an opportunity to learn about coding and robotics, a curriculum that the Department of Basic Education wants to introduce in 2023.
In April, the Department of Basic Education announced implementation of Coding and Robotics for Grade R, 3 and 7.
“440 learners from Tsiki Naledi Primary School in Hendrina, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality have enormously benefited from the generosity of Software AG and E&T Minerals,” Mpumalanga Department of Education said.
The two business entities partnered to build a new state of the art computer laboratory at the school.
“This state of the art 4IR lab envisions a future of hi-tech immersive and interactive learning experience in the rural environment to propel learners into a field of technology and the future of work in the modern world,” the Department said.
The Department said that the laboratory is intended to reduce the digital divide by ensuring that the physical, curricular, and web environments are barrier-free to teaching and lifelong learning.
“The Ithemba Lethu, as the 4IR laboratory is called, will give Grades 4 to 7 learners access to the internet and electronic devices during the learning process.”
The Lab is equipped with robotics equipment, 3-D printers, drones, coding system learning kits and state-of-the-art computers to enable learners from Grade 4 to 7 to be able to use from the beginning of the 2023 academic year.
The principal of the school Menzelwa Petros Skhosana said the learners would be able to compete with the best and brightest in science, mathematics and technology across the world.
“We are grateful for the efforts by Software AG and E&T Minerals in establishing a computer lab that sets our school on a level that will allow our learners to compete with the best and brightest in the science, mathematics and technology world,” said Skhosana.
MEC Bonakele Majuba expressed his gratitude to the sponsors, “The CEO of E&T Minerals, Mr. Emmanuel Ngulube and Transformation Director of Software AG, Ms. Ndazi Nokoane for the patriotic gesture of transforming education through technology.”
Department of Basic Education on Technology at schools
Last month, the Department of Basic Education announced that it plans to introduce new school subjects to the curriculum.
According to the department, a full-scale implementation of coding and robotics for Grade R, 3 and 7 would be made available in the 2023 academic year.
“The coding and robotics pilot for Grades 4-6 and for Grades 8 is planned for 2022 and will be followed by a Grade 9 pilot in 2023. The full-scale implementation for Grades 4-6 and Grade 8 is planned for 2024, and Grade 9 in 2025,” says the department.
The subjects would form part of the curriculum at different school levels from Grade R to Grade 9.
The department added that the introduction of the new subjects form part of a broader push to better prepare South African students for the working world.
Coding and robotics subjects are aimed at guiding and preparing learners to solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and creatively, and function in a digital and information-driven world.