The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and the world of work as we know it has changed. To this end the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is officially piloting a coding and robotics programme in the Limpopo province.

The programme will be kickstarted in four Mopani and Vhembe districts.

Twenty two schools of grades R-3 and 110 schools of grade 7 learners are the lucky ones to experience this programme. Their success will determine the greater implementation of the programme.

Jabu Hlakula, director of Quality Learning Campaign gave a presentation on skills and competencies for the changing world. These careers fall under the umbrella of:

-The Internet of Things (IoT)
-Artificial intelligence

Automation has taken over the world, changing work processes and making other roles redundant

In 2019, Standard Bank closed 91 branches as the bank further digitised. This affected thousands of employees and the bank absorbed the employees into other roles in the bank. Bank tellers, admin staff, factory workers, researchers and analysts are among a number of workers whose jobs are being replaced by robotics and automation. Robots work 24/7 with no need for overtime pay and are less error-prone than humans.

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In 2019, the DBE announced that Unisa had made available 24 information communication and technology lICT) Laboratories throughout the country for the training of 72,000 teachers in coding. This meant that schools would not need to go on a recruitment drive to acquire new skills.

The pilot project was meant to be kickstarted in 2019 for full implementation in 2020.

Now the project is finally becoming a reality and will help ensure that children in public schools can also compete in the active economy after leaving school and choosing careers.

The Curro Centre for Educational Excellence has been teaching coding since 2011, recognising the “importance of the skill to code as part of new literacy skills”. These children can be better skilled and make more informed career decisions when the leave school.

The DBE has acknowledged the need, therefore infusing coding and robotics in its curriculum.


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