President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected announce a major tech overhaul for the South Africa education system in his second State of the Nation Address in Febraury.
According to the City Press, which spoke to the department of basic education’s director general, Mathanzina Mweli, the finer details of the plan will be explained during Ramaphosa’s SONA, but will include things like:
- Rolling out tablets to all 23,700 primary and high schools;
- Introducing coding and robotics to grades 1 to 3; and
- Digitising the curriculum, including work books, textbooks and teacher documents.
The plan is to be piloted at special needs and multigrade schools this year, before moving on to free schools next year, and a full rollout completed by 2021, the DG said.
To combat theft and to control the content that can be accessed on the devices, the department has worked out a way to ‘insulate’ the tablets – so that learners can’t access dodgy content, and making it of no value to anyone who would steal it.
The overhaul is aimed at preparing the country’s future workforce for the fourth industrial revolution.
The fourth industrial revolution refers to the impact of new technologies on the economy and the way we live, and include robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, IoT, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles.