The education department keeps an eye on the robotics and coding pilot schools

In support of the Department of Basic Education’s aim to formally integrate coding and robotics into the curriculum, the Western Cape Education Department recently visited pilot schools that are offering these topics.

A formal coding and robotics curriculum that equips students with the essential skills and competencies is now being developed by the Department of Basic Education.

This forms part of the Three Streams Model which is gradually being introduced to the school curriculum and aims to provide different offerings to learners and respond to the technical skills needed in the world right now.

In 2020, the pilot of this curriculum took place in Grade R to Grade 3 and in 2021, Grade 4 to Grade 6 were introduced to this curriculum.

The DBE said that teaching coding and robotics to learners in lower grades will help them to develop the necessary digital skills which are required to land them jobs in the current world of work.

This year the last phase of piloting will take place for Grade 7 to Grade 9.

The coding and robotics will expose learners to digital literacy, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) currently has eleven pilot schools that are doing coding and robotics.

The provincial department held a monitoring visit at a pilot school in the Cape Winelands District. The WCED coordinator of Coding and Robotics, Albie Venter told the DBE TV News that these subjects have not been implemented in the curriculum yet but schools are running after-school activities involving these subjects.

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Venter says that the Department has been running a project named the Micro:bit Club for the past 2 years. Schools received Microbits for this project and two teachers at each school were given the training to run the clubs.

High schools in the province have also received Microbits to start the coding and robotics projects.

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