Coding and Robotics in South Africa

The Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has recently announced that the Coding and Robotics Curriculum for South Africa Grades R-3 and seven were piloted in schools nationwide. The DBE has developed a state-of-the-art digital platform has for the training of teachers. Orientation materials, lesson plans and coding programmes are available on this digital platform.

What is Coding and Robotics as a subject?

Coding and Robotics is a new subject introduced by the Department of Basic Education. It aims to prepare learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by introducing technology, processes, and ways of thinking that allow them to live and work in a digitally-enabled society. 

coding and robotics in South Africa
Coding and Robotics in South Africa schools

Coding and Robotics Curriculum

The DBE released draft curricula for Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase, currently with Umalusi for appraisal and quality assurance. The curriculum is divided into four terms per the South African school year, with each term further divided into topics. These topics are repeated and built on each term. Each topic has suggested example activities. 

Topics include:

  • Pattern Recognition and Problem Solving    
  • Algorithms and Coding       
  • Robotics Skills          
  • Internet and E-Communication      
  • Application Skills

Coding and robotics classes

So what exactly will a coding and robotics class look like? By its very nature, this is a practical subject. The best way to teach this subject is through activities and tasks. These don’t need to be digital activities. For example, teachers can use paper-based games or exercises to teach pattern recognition. 

LEGO Robotics and Coding in South Africa

LEGO has an established coding and robotics curriculum through its Mindstorm series. The Mindstorm product is an excellent, albeit pricey, tool for a coding and robotics class. Learners can use the LEGO components to make a variety of robots, with levers, wheels, cogs and a programmable ‘brain’ or intelligent brick. These can be programmes via an app on a smartphone or software on a laptop.

There are a number of resources available online to help teachers use LEGO in their classrooms.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.