Robotics and coding to be intr

Image: Canva

Robotics and coding to be introduced in Grade R classrooms

Coding and robotics might become a more integral part of classrooms across the country.

Robotics and coding to be intr

Image: Canva

It is said that South African Grade R students and above will soon learn coding and robotics at school.

Robotics and coding in SA classrooms

According to the CEO of Socially Acceptable, Nazareen Ebrahim, schools in South Africa will soon start teaching coding and robotics from Grade R to Grade Nine. This comes after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called for comments on the inclusion of coding and robotics as subjects from Grade R.

Nazareen spoke to Amy McIver on Cape Talk, saying that the areas they’ll look at from Grade R are pattern recognition, algorithms and coding, robotic skills, internet and e-communicating, and application skills.

“In South African schools, the level of maths doesn’t prepare our kids for real-world challenges…I’m really hoping we’re getting always-on connectivity and infrastructure, so all South African kids have the same opportunities.”

What is the purpose of Robotics and Coding in a curriculum?

With this news in mind, many wonder what is the ultimate purpose for this. According to a congressional school blog from the United States, coding is essentially written instructions that a robot or computer programme can read and then execute.

Students must determine the task they want to complete through a robot, design the code to make it happen, and then send it to the robot to view the outcome. Robotics allows students to see their thinking in a real way as they go through trial and error until the task is accomplished and the robot’s motions are performed as originally intended.

These skills will also help children in various ways like perseverance through struggle, problem-solving, a sense of agency, and collaboration.

“When writing code, students have to think both critically and creatively to tell a robot what motions to fulfil and also have to ensure the code is correct. A piece of code needs to be precise and specific in order to function properly and more often than not, it’s not perfect the first time. If a code is not free from error, the robot simply won’t move.”

Interesting choices and non-traditional learning techniques

In 2018, Elon Musk revealed his new ‘secret school’ that prefers flamethrowers and robots for traditional classes that are found within the school system.

According to Fortune, Musk has run the experimental non-profit school called Ad Astra ever since. The school is believed to be at his SpaceX company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Musk reportedly started the school after pulling all of his sons out of Los Angeles private schools and hired one of his son’s teachers to act as its principal. And in true Musk fashion, it doesn’t follow the traditional school system we know.

In this particular school, the kids work together in teams and explore non-traditional topics, including robotics and how to handle artificial intelligence, who Musk believes will be the destruction of the world itself.

There are also no grades given to students at the school and if the children don’t like a particular class they’re taking, they can simply opt out. Ad Astra students also trade using their own currency. The average age within the class is just 10 years old.