How can education be relevant and up to date?

Children in uniform working on computers.

ORT, an educational non-profit organisation, encourages incorporating digital skills at schools. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 11, 2021


Some argue that while the industrial revolutions and technological advancement had an impact on many industries, the education sector remains unchanged.

Classrooms of the 21st century are no different to those of the 19th century – which are set to prepare youth for the manufacturing mass-production workplace.

According to ORT, an educational non-profit organisation (NPO), established at the midst of the 2nd Industrial Revolution, incorporating digital skills in education is very important.

ORT caters to the needs of the community and the workplace, providing handicraft, agricultural and vocational training. Interventions included teaching grain sifting, using knitting machines, auto mechanics and engineering courses.

The NPO also does interventions including teaching grain sifting, using knitting machines, auto mechanics and engineering courses.

“Many schools in ORT’s network have incorporated coding and digital skills in their curriculum, enabling project-based learning through the incorporation of design thinking and problem solving,”said ORT SA chief executive Ariellah Rosenberg.

In South Africa, ORT SA has rolled out coding clubs in government schools, attended by thousands of learners, and focussed on building the capacity of hundreds of teachers since 2015.

The organisation believes that learning how to code develops analytical and critical thinkers, with technical skills that are relevant to the job market. Moreover, learning coding languages, application and website development also encourages work in teams, collaboration and finding solutions to community challenges in a proactive and innovative way.

“To get education relevant and up to date, we need to transform the way we teach and adjust the curriculum conveyed to our next generation accordingly. Coding and digital skills must become part and parcel of our curriculum, ensuring our youth are ready for the digitised world of work,” said Rosenberg.

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