The decision was announced to all branches of education in Circular S15 of
Concerns were raised from industry reported on by the media and by individuals in the public domain of social media that the decision to standardise on software tools would have had a negative impact on the use of Free and
Software skills in education is a critical issue
There has been a strong response from industry and various stakeholder groups including letters of concern and an online petition.
The DBE not only took time to meet representatives from industry but also took time to review a wide range of concerns. It also called for a stakeholder meeting which took place on the 6th of
The Chamber believes that this was a wake up call for industry on the gap between education and the demand for skills to grow our knowledge economy. It is a problem that government alone cannot address and which requires involvement from businesses, non-profit organisations and society as a whole. Our economic growth and competitiveness is dependent on skills and the baseline and foundation is in the readiness and quality of our matriculants.
Through the process of engagement between various stakeholders and the
The process has also highlighted the need to review a curriculum that is over a decade old that positions computing in education as a narrow channel for specific university programs and professional careers. While education system cannot rapidly adapt to the pace at which technology changes but the past decade has seen a much faster adoption of computing skills to the point where it has become a core competency in many if not most careers.
A step in right direction
To increase economic growth and reduce unemployment particular for youth unemployment, it is imperative that we improve the way in which we teach technical, creative and entrepreneurship in our education system and training in industry.
The teaching and adoption of technology and related skill sets requires continuous review and evaluation and wider stakeholder input must be included in the annual cycle of curriculum development and assessments.
The Chamber would like to call on businesses to be more involved and invested in ensuring that our education system contributes towards our economic growth and provides a means for eradicating poverty.
"We commend the Government for listening to business and we hope this opens the door for better collaboration in future. This has provided an opportunity to the private sector to commit ourselves to improving the vital system of education that our children and the country deserves,"
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