New coding curriculum set to begin in Grades R to 9

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Minister Angie Mtshekga. Source: GCIS

By Charles Molele

Coding and robotics subjects will be part of the new curriculum from Grade R to Grade 9, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Motshekga said at the weekend that the new curricula in South African schools will provide learners with an understanding of coding and robotics and will develop their skills and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The Coding Curriculum will develop learners’ ability to solve problems, think critically and work collaboratively and creatively,’ said Motshekga.

“We are grateful for the University of South Africa that has generously agreed to partner with the DBE by making available their 24 ICT Laboratories throughout the country for the training of 72,000 teachers in Coding. The DBE is also working with civil society, academic institutions and businesses such as Africa Teen Geeks. With the support of African Teen Geeks, Unisa, North West University, ORT South Africa and Globenet, the DBE developed a Framework for Coding Grade R-9.”

Motshekga said the DBE will also introduce the Robotics curriculum from Grade R to Grade 9.

The robotics curriculum, according to Motshekga, will have a strong foundation in Engineering in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and it will enable learners to build and operate robots through coding.

“This will ensure that South Africa develops learners who are makers and inventors who will contribute to building an innovative culture in South Africa,” she said.

“Teachers are going to be key in teaching this new subject; and the plan is to train at least three teachers in each of the 16,000 primary schools to teach Coding. The implementation of Coding in the system will be start with a pilot in 1,000 schools in 2020 in five provinces for Grade 7 to Grade 9.”

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