WCED to establish 500 robotic and coding clubs by 2024

24 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) revealed that it plans to establish 500 robotic and coding clubs in primary and high schools by 2024. In doing so, learners in our province would gain greater access to the innovative and quality education the Western Cape has to offer.

Owing to the important role infrastructure plays in providing an enabling environment, I will be submitting parliamentary questions to ascertain the current IT facilities at our schools and the plans to further upgrade them. This would be to ensure that classrooms have sufficient capacity to support these endeavours.

During the Standing Committee briefing yesterday, the WCED outlined its STEAMAC (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Agriculture and Coding) subjects and how its curriculum includes them. Together, these subjects help cultivate a learning environment where children can learn the skills needed in our main economic sectors and thus improve their employment possibilities.

Robotics and coding are no different. The 4th Industrial Revolution is playing a significant role in transforming the economy and society in general. In South Africa alone, there are thousands of jobs in this sector where there are not enough candidates to apply. It is therefore crucial for our learners to easily integrate into an increasingly digitalised world.

Already, the WCED has 211 robotic and coding pilot schools in place and has achieved the following successes to further these subjects:

  • 500 cost-effective robotic kits for schools;
  • Several coding and robotic committees;
  • Teacher orientation and training, as well as teacher professional development (TPD);
  • The appointment of deputy chief education specialists in the WCED, which is a first in the country; and
  • Greater collaboration between the directorates to ensure efficiency in this regard.

MPP Deidré Baartman says: “While there is much work still to be done, the Western Cape has laid down the foundation for our education to stay current, impactful and useful for our children. It is important for the national government to prioritise spending for these interventions, so that provinces are able to further innovate. As the DA, we look forward to the progress being made over the coming years.”