128 Mpumalanga schools introduce coding, robotics


The Mpumalanga provincial government has introduced coding and robotics in 128 schools, as part of its pilot programme.

‘That pilot is progressing well and 128 schools, from Grade R to 3 and Grade 7, are currently doing coding and robotics,’ Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane said on Friday when delivering the State of the Province Address (SOPA).

Since 2022, in its quest to improve learner performance, the provincial government is providing all Grade 12 learners and teachers in Quantile 1 to 3 schools with tablets and laptops respectively.

These devices, the Premier said, are loaded with e-content and will be provided this year with an offline application to enable access to learning even outside the four walls of the classroom without data or connectivity.

‘This government continues to strengthen e-learning in our schools. This year, the province will introduce the smart schools concept in eight schools where both teachers and learners will utilise technological devices and thus making the sch
ools paperless,” Mtshweni-Tsipane said.

She said the land for the construction of the proposed School for the Deaf and Blind has been secured at Emalahleni Municipality.

‘Once the school is completed, the 250 deaf learners currently studying at Bukhosibetfu Full Service School and the 200 in other special schools will be relocated to the new school.”

Job creation

By the end of January 2024, a total of 63 478 jobs were created through the 21 identified programmes, including the Siyatentela Road Maintenance Programme, Government Nutrition Programme, School Handymen and Tourism Safety Monitors, to name a few.

‘Since 2021 and through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, we have trained and created a total of 65 296 job opportunities for unemployed youth in different schools.

‘Since its inception in 2019, the Premier’s Youth Development Fund has disbursed R258 million to fund 182 youth-owned enterprises. The funded beneficiaries have created more than 630 jobs in agriculture, mining, manufacturing as well a
s film and production,’ Mtshweni-Tsipane said.

Growing tourism

As part of ongoing efforts to attract tourism to Mpumalanga, the provincial government has upgraded tourism facilities in four nature reserves with accommodation facilities.

These include Songimvelo-Kromdraai Camp, Andover, SS Skhosana and Manyeleti.

‘Phase 2 of fence installations is in progress in order to minimise human wildlife conflict in Songimvelo, Mthethomusha and Mdala reserves. It’s important for us to implement these projects efficiently, economically and effectively in order to increase the number visitors to our province.

“We are pleased with the intention to support the provincial efforts in this regard, expressed from the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development,’ the Premier said.

As of 1 April 2024, FlySaFair introduced new routes between Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Cape Town

‘This adds further impetus to the gains we made when Eurowings, a German airline, chose Mpumalanga as its
destination of choice more than a year ago. This is further supported by the Stats SA Tourism and migration report released in January 2024, which placed Mpumalanga at the second spot in international tourist arrivals.

‘As early as February 2024, we entered into a strategic partnership with Aspinall Foundation to elevate the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve to a Big Five Game Reserve. We have also concluded a collaboration with Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation to fight poaching in Manyeleti. This collaboration includes establishing new pickets, maintenance of fence and the training of field rangers,’ the Premier said.

Transport

The provincial government plans to build a state-of-the-art interchange along the railway line from the city centre leading to Pine Ridge, Klarinet, Siyanqoba and Verena.

‘This interchange will improve safety and ease traffic flow in that area. The planning and design process has been completed. The construction of the interchange will commence in the 2024/25 financial,’
the Premier said.

During the current administration, government will complete projects including the rehabilitation of sections P8/1 (R36) between Mashishing and Bambi Phase 3; D2950 Mananga to River Crossing; Coal Haul P36/1 Delmas to N12 and the upgrading of D481 Mooiplaas and Ekulindeni; D4407 Hluvukani – Orpen Road near Welverdied.

Caring for the vulnerable

Since the beginning of the sixth administration, government has placed 542 children in foster care.

The Premier also touched on social ills.

“Substance abuse has become endemic, negatively impacting on the lives of the substance abusers and their close families. We opened our doors and our hearts to more than 1 942 substance abusers who needed our help.

‘We have completed the construction of the Swartfontein and the Nkangala treatment centres. In the days ahead, we will officially handover the Nkangala treatment centre.

‘In the current administration, 7 409 Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) have been supported to implement programmes that are impa
ct driven and aid our efforts to create a Mpumalanga anchored on morals and social cohesion,’ the Premier said. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

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