Thabo Mbeki Foundation unveils report to prepare schoolkids for 4IR

Former president Thabo Mbeki and Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga have received a 200-page report into education and the fourth industrial revolution compiled by researchers at the elder statesman's foundation.

The report was unveiled at an event organised by Discovery Business Insurance and entrepreneurship learning platform Heavy Chef in Cape Town on Thursday evening. The report includes 50 schools across the country where digital learning solutions were piloted.

At his State of The Nation Address in June, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that education would be one of seven priorities for the current administration, with a view to improve outcomes and ensuring every 10-year old learner can read for meaning within the next decade.

Mbeki said he appreciated the report, as "a refreshing positive development during South Africa's trying times".

"In the end, it's not your platinum deposit or whatever else this country has, or the gas that was found by Total in the oceans. It’s not those things that will change South Africa for the better. It's people," said Mbeki.

Mbeki said he would study the 200-page report and other supplementary material before the foundation determined the next step.

Motshekga said corporate developed great ideas and it was vital for government to work closely with them to find of opportunities that can be piloted on a smaller scale and benefit the sector and inform the bigger system.

"We have more than 12 million children in the system in total and the lessons we get from these children help us with great knowledge that we can potentially use to serve all of the other schools," Motshekga said.

Motshekga said she looked forward to engaging with the foundation’s report, as she believed that having an organisation that deals intellectually with the matter of education was very enriching.

Thabo Mbeki Foundation convenor Lukhanyo Neer said the research in the report included four pilot studies seeking outcomes including decolonised curriculum, examining existing online resources, emulating global best practice in the fourth industrial revolution and bringing the teaching profession into the fourth industrial revolution.

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