President Cyril Ramaphosa made his State of Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, where he discussed the plans of the government to radically overhaul the education system in order to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
According to the President, in the next six years educators and learners will be trained to respond to emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence. Several new technology subjects will be introduced to the curriculum, including technical mathematics, technical sciences, maritime sciences, aviation studies, mining sciences and aquaponics.
“We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multi grade, multiphase, farm and rural schools,” said Ramaphosa.
Another critical issue the President addressed was Early Childhood Development (ECD), were he says that the top priority will be to improve reading comprehension in the first years of school by expanding the availability of early reading resources across the foundation phase of schooling.
Earlier this week protests broke out on university campuses across the country, where students were protesting for free higher education. Responding to this issue the President stated that free higher education will continue to be rolled out for qualifying first year students.
The focus will be for the government to stabilise the business process of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), so that it is properly capacitated to carry out its critical role in supporting eligible students.
“We call on all student representatives and university authorities to work together to find solutions to the challenges that students are facing,” concluded the President.