The MTN SA Foundation has partnered with the Department of Basic Education’s National Coding and Robotics pilot programme to launch a Coding and Robotics Centre at Letsibogo Girls High School in Soweto.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the era of rapid digital change have triggered a rapidly developing technological landscape which will forever change how we live, transact, and remain competitive in a digital universe, says Arthur Mukhuvha, GM of the MTN Foundation.

Staying abreast of developments requires equipping learners for the future. One way of ensuring this is through coding and robotics education becoming part of curricula designed to encourage children’s problem-solving and critical-thinking skills,” he says.

“Crucially for South Africa, these skills also help develop an entrepreneurial mindset in upcoming generations so that a culture of innovation becomes embedded in the national outlook and helps to drive economic growth and technical advancement,” Mukhuvha adds.

At the Letsibogo Girls High School, the Coding and Robotics Centre will pilot programmes using 66 robotics kits, 10 laptops, and a router that cater to teaching nine classes. A set of competition kits will simultaneously be available for extra mural activities and future competitions.

In addition to the coding and robotics resources, the Letsibogo Centre offers learning and teaching support material that vary from lesson plans, teacher workbooks, coding software, and assessment guidelines and textbooks.

All teachers involved with the Letsibogo project have already undergone five days of immersive, in-person teacher training. This training equips teachers with the skills needed to effectively deliver the coding and robotics curriculum. All teacher training, which includes 12 months of ongoing online support, is supplied by the MTN SA Foundation’s partner, Sifiso EdTech.

Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of Sifiso EdTech, states: “In our rapidly evolving tech-centric work environment, it’s crucial that students emerge from school with essential digital skills for the workforce. Digital literacy is now a cornerstone in all sectors. Our partnership with private sector leaders like MTN underscores our commitment to nurturing these skills from a young age, preparing the future workforce to thrive in the digital age, drive economic growth and foster innovation.”

To ensure the full involvement of the Letsibogo Girls High School, the Centre is also equipped with learning and teaching support material that varies from lesson plans and workbooks to coding software, textbooks, and assessment guidelines.