Two subjects to be added to the new SA curriculum.

Some of South Africa’s younger school learners will be asked to study a ‘futuristic’ new curriculum this year, as subjects related to 4IR get the nod. There is something of a shake-up coming to several grades in the academic year ahead: Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that a ‘new draft curriculum’ will introduce two different subjects to the classroom, operating under the same umbrella.

Both coding and robotics will become a permanent fixture for learners, subject to final approval from Umalusi. The governing body is currently undergoing a ‘quality assurance’ evaluation, to ensure that these new topics are fit for purpose. The President confirmed that Grades R through to 3, and Grade 7, will be introduced to the new curriculum first.

“The draft coding and robotics curriculum has been submitted to Umalusi for evaluation and quality assurance, and a draft curriculum will soon be gazetted. During the course of this year, 200 schools will be piloting the draft curriculum from Grades R to 3 and 1 000 schools will be piloting the Grade 7 curriculum,” said President Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Lekgotla on Thursday. The three-day engagement emphasises the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and the need to ensure that learners have the best possible chance at succeeding in a fast-changing global environment.

On Tuesday, the matric results for South Africa’s class of 2020 were released, showing that the national pass rate had dropped by more than 5%. However, given that entire months were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education have reacted enthusiastically to these results. Ramaphosa, however, has one eye on the future.

“As we review the matric results, one of the prominent indicators of quality is how the country is doing in these STEM subjects. If we are to seize the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), our education system must be reoriented towards its development in our country. We must pay attention to subject areas at basic education level,” said Ramaphosa.

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