President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at the inaugural Digital Economy Summit last week and confirmed his push for more digital learning in SA schools.
South Africa – In February of this year, during the State of the Nation address, president Cyril Ramaphosa addressed additional subjects for schools to get them on board with the changing digital market. He confirmed at the time that schools would offer coding as a subject.
In his speech, he said that the Department of Education would expand the training of educators and learners to include robotics and artificial intelligence.
“We also have to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future.
This is why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics at a primary school level.”
The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has confirmed that 43,774 teachers have been trained in computer skills and as of June, thousands have entered into a training programmed for coding. Their training runs from June to September 2019.
From there, the coding subject is set to be piloted at 1,000 schools across five provinces starting in 2020. Minister Motshekga confirmed that UNISA, Google, Teen Geeks and other businesses have all climbed on board to make the training possible for teachers. Additionally, Robotics is set to be implemented from grades R to nine.
This skills revolution was further discussed by president Cyril Ramaphosa during his speech at the inaugural Digital Economy Summit, which took place on the 5th of July.
“As I undertook in the state of the nation address, we are introducing subjects such as coding and data analytics at a primary school level to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future.
“Though various support programmes such as the South Africa Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) and other targeted human capital development initiatives, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is building essential capability in all technology areas underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Aside from the coding and robotics subjects, six other new technology subjects and specialisations are being said to be introduced to schools in South Africa.
- Technical mathematics;
- Technical sciences;
- Maritime sciences;
- Aviation studies;
- Mining sciences;
To make these subjects a reality, several standard public high schools converted to technical schools where learners will get hands-on training in the disciplines of their choice.
With the next industrial revolution upon us, these changes in the school curriculum are very welcome, indeed. We look forward to seeing how these subjects will improve South African lives and how they will increase the economy in the years to come.