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Our next generation has very exciting prospects indeed! The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has recently published a government gazette outlining its strategy for future curriculums in schools, both private and government.

As we all know the future will be largely, if not entirely, technology based so that’s where the job creation starts.

Building the schools curriculum around these necessary skills will therefore be step one. Jobs in the technology field, whether it be coding or infrastructure or devops based, is where it’s at.

Upgrading tertiary education is Step 1

The most important part of all of this will obviously be getting the correct people, with the necessary skills, into the educational system. Teachers with the correct training and backgrounds will therefore be of the utmost importance. Therefore tertiary education needs to include all the relevant subjects in their own curriculum to ensure future teachers are adequately skilled in everything from computer coding to AI technologies.

Another imperative part of the puzzle, and the easiest way to ease students into the correct mindset, would be for teachers from as early as Grade R who teach accounting, biology, languages, mathematics, and science subjects to incorporate digital tools and applications in their lessons.

The relevant subjects and topics for which students should be prepared would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Algorithms design and use
  • Artificial Intelligence Applications
  • Big data analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital Content Design
  • Gamification
  • Mechatronics and robotics
  • Software engineering

“Curriculum review should give attention to language and mathematics curricula, since these provide foundation knowledge for digital learning,” added the DCDT.

This curriculum review will also need to place particular attention to computation thinking and problem solving; data literacy and analytical skills; and mobile literacy relevant to the increasingly wider range of mobile and digital devices, it said.

“Popularisation of an annual activity, the Computer Olympiad should assist in strengthening digital literacy.”

Getting started

“Fast, reliable Internet access will enable a range of new learning modalities, updates, no real familiarity, access to new information, and no research,” said the DCDT.

“A major long-term infrastructure funding programme for schools is needed, with attention to mobile and other wireless network infrastructure, at sufficient levels of connectivity to make online access meaningful in educational terms.”

“Opportunities for infrastructure funding partnerships can be formulated through Treasury Regulations, through the proposed Digital Development Fund, and through other infrastructure funding initiatives, such as SIP15*,” said the DCDT.

* Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) 15, the communications technology component of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.

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