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January 2021 edition

Coding and robotics for ‘little ones’

Primary school learners will this year be introduced to the world of coding and robotics from Grade R to three. This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa when sharing his plans for the year during the State of the Nation Address held recently in Parliament. Coding and robotics will be the order of the day for Grade R to three.

He said during 2020, about 200 schools will be teaching Robotics and Coding to learners.

This is one of the steps taken by government to equip learners with the required skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

President Ramaphosa said the most significant contribution government can make to inclusive economic growth is in the development of appropriate skills and capabilities.

He said  government is building nine new technical vocational education and training college campuses in Sterkspruit, Aliwal North, Graaff Reinet and Ngungqushe in the Eastern Cape, and in Umzimkhulu, Greytown, Msinga, Nongoma and Kwagqikazi in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We are making progress with the introduction of the three-stream curriculum model, heralding a fundamental shift in focus towards more vocational and technical education.

“Various technical vocational specialisations have already been introduced in 550 schools and 67 schools are now piloting the occupational stream,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said through bilateral student scholarship agreements signed with other countries, government is steadily building a substantial number of young people who go overseas each year for training in critical skills.

“We have seen the impact this can have with the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Training Programme in Cuba which has produced over 1 200 medical doctors and a further 640 students are expected to graduate in December 2020.”

Government has also decided to establish a new University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni. 

“This will enable young people in that metro to be trained in high-impact and cutting-edge technological innovation for current and future industries.”

Government has introduced new technology subjects and specialisation, including technical mathematics and technical sciences, maritime sciences, aviation studies, mining sciences and aquaponics. SAnews.gov.za