The Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga announced that coding and robotics will be introduced into the South African school curriculum and will benefit the advancing of technology in the country.
Motshekga recently announced that the department was developing coding and robotics curricula to be included from grades R to 9. It is expected to be piloted at 1 000 schools across five provinces, starting in the next academic year.
To help you ensure your school curriculum is ready, we chatted with coding and robotics experts, Onsite Group.
Q1: Why is robotics an important aspect of a child’s education today?
There is little doubt that computer literacy will be an essential skill in the coming millennium. Computers are already embedded into many household appliances like video recorders and cookers thanks to the advent of “ubiquitous computing” technologies (where computing is made to appear anytime and everywhere).
Research indicates that computing devices will continue to pervade our lives at home and at work. People lacking the ability to communicate with or program these devices are likely to be severely disadvantaged.
Currently, South Africa is undergoing a massive skills gap in several industries. In today’s digitally dominated world, IT-related skills are far and away the most sought-after skills globally and in South Africa.
Nowadays, the global job market is spread over a vastly different landscape. The opportunities that are available are inconceivably variable and ever-evolving, as the information age advances.
Creativity, innovation teamwork skills, and passion are being sought out and rewarded. One report highlighted that almost 95% of managers place creativity as a key feature when evaluating candidates for a job.
It is, therefore, vital that education systems evolve with the times to ensure they are not devoid of real-world needs.
Q2: What do schools need to do to begin rolling out robotics?
Schools should have at least one device between two learners to programme with. VJ Robotics will then be able to provide schools with robotics kits that will help learners to build and code. The kits consist of all equipment needed to complete the courses provided to them.
The school should also have a working Wi-Fi system in order to work from the VJ Robotics online course.
The course will equip learners in C++ programming and at the end of the 3rd module, learners will be able to programme in C++ programming language.
Q3: How do you roll coding and robotics out if you don’t have an equipped staff member?
VJ Robotics offers teacher training for the IT teachers who will teach robotics as a subject. VJ Robotics functions in an online school. Thus, teachers will be fully equipped with lessons and lesson plans. Teachers will also have access to a teacher platform to communicate with a robotics expert at any given moment.
Q4: What would the teacher’s role be if they used your system?
Teachers mainly function as a facilitator in the class. The learners will work through the online platform at their own pace and ability. After every lesson, learners should answer questions and reflect on what they have learned. This can also function as an assessment criteria.
If you want to find out more about how you can begin rolling out coding and robotics in your school, simply give us your details and we’ll ask a friendly member of the VJ Robotics team to get hold of you.