Abridged speech to teachers, pupils and guests by Ms Maureen Mthimunye, Director in the office of the DDG, Gauteng Dept of Education (GDE) at the ORT SA/Nedbank STEM function 28 November 2018
“ Making Things Happen for Future Generations”
“Who is the future Generation? Is it not the children and learners in our communities and schools? Then the future is here! We must create a new integrated, agile, sustainable and lifelong education system, that matches the needs of the future generation.
Studies are showing that millions of technology jobs will remain unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers, of course other jobs will be outsourced to automation.
Making things to happen can no longer be delayed or postponed. It is urgent for policy makers to look for an education system that will equip learners with the knowledge and the skills of the 21st Century, relevant to the transforming world.
Critical thinking, problem solving, working collaboratively and communication to name just a few are some of the skills required. Coding and Robotics can do that.
You have seen the work done by the learners [at the event] as you moved around their exhibitions. Our learners are smart. The projects are evidence of that. I constantly remind my teams that out learners are smart. All we need is to find the mechanisms that unlock that smartness. We need to find in the classroom, teaching and learning that provides opportunities for these learners to unleash what they are good and excelling on.
Gauteng is currently transforming the education space through innovative classrooms, technology devices for the learners and educators, Schools of Specialisation are the future this country needs.
We believe in teachers embracing skills such as Coding, we know this could have taken a lot of your time over and above your usual teaching and learning hours in your schools. You have in your efforts put aside the fears about working with Technology,
Your classroom will not be the same as yesterday, a total shift from book knowledge to high quality learning in the classroom, through Projects based learning, research, practical learning experiences of Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering subjects to mention a few.
Indeed you, [ORT SA] have created a new integrated, agile, sustainable and life long education practice competencies that matches the needs of the future generations.
As the GDE, we want to truly convey our gratitude to the ORT SA CEO, Ariellah Rosenburg, the whole team of management and facilitators. All the schools, the managers, educators and learners involved in Coding are a huge milestone achieved in our province.