Robotics and coding - providing learners with a crucial skill set
Robotics and coding - providing learners with a crucial skill set

Premier Winde and education MEC Schäfer visit robotics class in Mitchells Plain

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published May 24, 2021

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THE Western Cape Education Department is starting a robotics and coding pilot programme in selected schools. Included in this pilot is Spine Road High School, which is already piloting the scratch coding programme as part of the technology subject for Grade 8 and 9 learners.

The robotics and coding class, which is being incorporated into technology classes and offered as an extra-mural activity, will provide learners with a crucial skill set to work in an increasingly digital economy.

Robotics started at Spine Road High School during 2018 as an extra-mural activity for learners to increase their skills and career opportunities. During December of last year, the school was approached by DXC.technology to write a proposal for an upgrade of the existing robotics lab. The upgrade was made in February this year and the school launched a state-of-the-art robotics lab in April.

The robotics and coding classes are providing youth in the Cape Flats with essential skills to seek employment amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This will ensure that the Western Cape government achieves its aims of increasing job opportunities, supporting the economy, and making the province safer for all who live in it.

“I want to commend Spine Road High School’s principal, Mr Fairbairn, for his leadership and ensuring that we bring education in the Western Cape into the future,” said provincial Education Minister Debbie Schäfer.

“It was really incredible to see how the teacher is bringing robotics into her technology classes, how much fun it is and how incredibly well it is teaching our learners 21st-century skills - not only coding but also things like teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking skills.

“This is desperately needed for the future where there will be jobs where we don’t even know exist yet. I really think they are doing a fantastic job. They have grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and they are doing everything possible to ensure their learners get the most up-to-date lessons that they can,” Schäfer said.

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