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Skills for a changing world: coding and robotics in schools

As the basic education sector, we need to create an environment that allows learners to tap into their curiosity about digital technology, supports their creativity, responsibility and grow their confidence in using technology. The introduction of coding and robotics in Grades R-9 affords us that opportunity. The piloting of the coding and robotics curriculum is currently being rolled out to 840 schools nationwide. To ensure that no child is left behind when the programme is fully implemented, the current cohort of pilot schools include, in addition to main-stream schools, special needs education schools, full-service schools and multi-grade schools.

Teaching and Learning in Coding and Robotics involves the development of a range of process and design skills. For each school participating in the programme, the appropriate resources are provided. These include EV3 Core and Expansion Sets, computers, technology toolkits and DVD sets, teacher and student guides. Teachers also go through a 15-week online course.

During Minister Motshekga’s Mandela Month visit to Emmanuel Primary School in Sharpeville, learners gave a demonstration of what they’ve learnt thus far in their coding and robotics class. Being one of the 99 coding and robotics pilot schools in Gauteng, Minister Motshekga was encouraged by the progress made with the programme at the school, and commended the Gauteng Department of Education in the establishment of schools of specialisation and the implementation of coding and robotics. "As a sector, we will continue to cooperate with all the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to expose learners to the necessary skills required for the changing world,” said Minister Motshekga.

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