Coding and robotics are the future for SA schools

Robotics and coding provide learners with crucial skills. Picture: Supplied

Robotics and coding provide learners with crucial skills. Picture: Supplied

Published May 10, 2023


Cape Town - Education role players agree that coding and robotics are the future of South African education.

According to Dr Benadette Aineamani, executive: product and services at Maskew Miller Learning, technology is transforming education delivery.

“Equipping tomorrow’s leaders goes far beyond ensuring employability, but also ties into providing South African learners with the ability to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements.

“This starts with incorporating technology into our school curriculums,” she said.

In 2019, the Department of Basic Education announced the launch of a pilot coding and robotics curriculum into the schooling system from Grade R to Grade 9.

Aineamani said incorporating technology into curriculum development could have numerous benefits.

“Technology provides learners access to a wealth of resources, including online libraries, open educational resources, and online courses,” said Aineamani.

This access is critical in South Africa, where resources can be limited due to geographic and socio-economic factors.

“Technology facilitates interactive learning experiences, such as virtual reality simulations and gamification, which promote engagement, motivation, and knowledge retention,” Aineamani said.

“Innovative ideas in the technology space can help to address the digital divide by providing equal access to resources and opportunities to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Though there are many benefits, she said incorporating technology into the curriculum may also have challenges.

“Infrastructure – implementing technology in South African schools can be challenging due to inadequate infrastructure and reliable electricity,” she added.

“Cost – implementing and maintaining technology can be challenging, particularly for under-resourced schools.

“Teacher training – teachers may lack the necessary skills and training to integrate technology effectively into their teaching practices, leading to ineffective implementation and use.”

Oxford University Press South Africa has teamed up with Resolute Education to offer a holistic solution for schools.

It was piloted in a number of schools in South Africa in 2022.

Hanri Pieterse, managing director of Oxford University Press Africa, said the partnership offered winning solutions for schools.

“These issues consist of a widely tested curriculum to provide guidance to, and comprehensive training for, teachers,” said Pieterse.

“It also offers a cleverly designed and versatile kit with components that provide everything learners will need during their online and classroom learning experience.”

Weekend Argus