Ahead of his State of Nation Address (SONA), happening on the 7th February next month, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, is expected to announce a major tech overhaul for the country’s education system.
Although details are not clear about his announcement at this stage, more information will be released following SONA. The President is also expected to announce details on the government’s plan to introduce more coding and robotics skills for pupils in Grade One to Three.
The impending announcement is naturally being welcomed by those in the education sector.
“We are very excited about the prospect and we feel this is a step in the right direction, as we have seen first-hand what benefits there are for students learning how to code,” says director at Think Ahead and iSchoolAfrica, Michelle Lissoos.
“Research has found that 65 percent of students entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. And thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, by 2020, there will be around 83 million jobs globally that don’t have skilled people to fill them,” she adds..
These skills will go hand-in-hand with the high demand for more skills in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors of our country.
The recent 2018 matric exam results showed that while the national pass rate is improving, maths and science declined slightly. Therefore making coding and robotics of greater importance in the foundational years, has the potential to reap benefits when children get to the secondary school level and beyond.
For now we will need to wait and see what the President will say about this important step that our education system needs to take.[Image – SA History]