A school in Free State’s third largest city, Kroonstad, will pilot teaching robotics and coding. Picture: Willem Law.
A school in Free State’s third largest city, Kroonstad, will pilot teaching robotics and coding. Picture: Willem Law.

Free State school gets an upgrade to teach robotics and coding

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Aug 12, 2021

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The building of a new robotics and coding primary school in Kroonstad will reap employment opportunities for many people in the Free State’s third largest city.

Upgrades to Phuleng Primary School, in Maokeng, came as a collaborative effort by KST Infrastructure and the De Beers Trust, in partnership with the Free State Department of Education.

In line with the Department of Basic Education’s vision to increase skills development and competencies for the fourth Industrial Revolution, the school will pilot the teaching of robotics and coding in the Kroonstad area.

The curriculum forms part of the department’s education priorities, and is envisaged to equip learners in all public schools with skills and competencies for a changing world.

The school caters for Grade R to 7, it has 26 classrooms, a computer and science laboratory, multimedia centre, administration block, hall, a nutrition centre, two toilet blocks, and space for a sport and netball field. The school’s capacity can now accommodate 900 learners.

KST said construction of the new school had been an opportunity to make use of their infrastructure model that ensures the local community is upskilled and employed during the construction. This process ensured that the local community and parents of learners took ownership of the new school.

Almost 50% of this project’s labour force had been sourced from the local community and empowered through EPWP work opportunities. Local sub-contractors and suppliers were used to carry out essential work, and on-site training was provided.

Themba Mola, CEO of KST said: “It was important that the community of Maokeng participate in this project from the onset, to ensure that it empowers the community to participate, and ultimately own and protect the facilities for the benefit of the current and future learners in the community.”

School principal Nti Motloung said: “This upgrading of our school benefits our learners and the community of Maokeng greatly. The addition of the computer laboratory means we are able to enhance our teaching of STEM school subjects. The new school will continue to benefit the community for years to come.

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