This week, Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubani, addressed delegates at the Hackathon High Level Political Forum (HLPF) event, about how the South African government plans to reshape the education system for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

The Minister said that the Department of Basic Education is updating its curriculum to ensure that children coming through the country’s education system are equipped with skills that will ensure they are ready to either become tech entrepreneurs or enter the workforce from day one of graduating from high school.

“We are determined to create a sustainable industrialization and to keep pace with the world, the government has developed Coding and Robotics curriculum for Grade 1 to Grade 3 and will complete Grade 4 to Grade 9 before the of 2019,” she noted.

Kubayi-Ngubani added that the government will use Unisa’s 24 ICT laboratories located throughout the country to train 72 000 teachers to teach coding to primary school learners, which will be in partnership with civil society, academic institutions and businesses.

The Department of Basic Education will also introduce the Three Stream Model to address the doal challenges of dropout rate as well as throughput rate.

The Three Streams Model offers learners three distinct pathways – namely academic, vocational and occupational – which recognises that learners have different styles and that opportunities should be created for each type.

“The current configuration of the curriculum offering only catered for learners who are academically inclined to the disadvantage of learners who are vocationally as well as occupationally gifted,” explained Kubayi-Ngubane.

Furthermore the Department of Basic Education plans to introduce the General Education Certificate (GEC) which will be finalised by end of 2019, ensuring learners completing Grade 9 will receive a qualification certificate recognised in the completion of General Education and Training Band (GET Band).

“Learners completing Grade 9 will then articulate into the FET Band, into the TVET colleges or even into the world of work for those who would choose to do so. Those who would wish to articulate into the world of work should be admitted there as assistant artisans,” concluded the Minister.

[Image – Santi Vedrí on Unsplash]