by Monono Kgothatso

A long-standing collaboration between the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Faculty of Information and Communication Technology's (FoICT) Department of Computer Science, has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of education through various initiatives. These include workshops as well as planning and training sessions designed to benefit experts and participants from Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Due to this collaboration, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) invited FoICT to participate in the recent training of foundation phase for provincial and district officials on coding and robotics.

Minister of Basic Education of South Africa, Angie Motshega

In 2023, two experienced staff members from the Department of Computer Science, Aubrey Khoza and Dr Bertie Buitendag, were also invited to become part of the process of reworking and strengthening the Draft Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement for Coding and Robotics. Their involvement focused on the foundation, intermediate and senior phases of the CAPS documents.

Because of their previous engagements with the DBE on various educational projects made them ideal candidates for this important task. Both individuals view such opportunities as excellent avenues for community service, allowing them to give back to the educational community and contribute to the development of future generations.

The rigorous and detailed process of strengthening and reworking the CAPS documents was to ensure that the curriculum was robust, comprehensive and aligned with the latest educational standards and industry requirements. This involved reviewing the existing drafts, identifying areas for improvement and incorporating feedback from various stakeholders.

Khoza and Dr Buitendag, with the support of Research Professor, Joey Jansen Van Vuuren and the HoD for Computer Science, Dr Robert Hans, worked closely with other members of the curriculum strengthening team, drawing on their extensive experience in computer science education to provide valuable insights and make recommendations. 

Their contributions were critical in shaping a curriculum that would not only meet the educational needs of students but also prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

This culminated in the successful resubmission of the revised CAPS documents to Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training. Umalusi approved all three CAPS documents, marking a significant achievement for the Faculty of ICT's Department of Computer Science and its partners.

The approval of the revised CAPS documents is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved. It signifies a major step forward in the implementation of a modern, effective Coding and Robotics Curriculum in South African schools. This curriculum will equip students with essential skills in coding and robotics, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving abilities and digital literacy from an early age.

As the newly approved curriculum is rolled out, it promises to have a lasting positive impact on the education system and the future of students across the country.

Cohort of contributors for CAPS curriculum with the Minister of Basic

Cohort of contributors for CAPS curriculum from different

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