by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – GAUTENG, South Africa’s economic hub, has unveiled a Maths, Science and Information and Communications Technology School of Specialisation, focusing on renewable energy and climate change.
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) launched the facility named after education doyen, Dr Molefi Oliphant, in the Bophelong area of Vanderbijlpark, south of the province.
The school is one of 20 such facilities GDE has rolled out across the province to immerse learners in such fields as Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Engineering, ICT, Maths, Science, Sports as well as Performing and Creative Arts.
Attendees at the launch of the Dr Molefi Oliphant School of Specialisation were first given a display of a smart home which had a biometric fingerprint system coded by learners at the school and augmented reality headsets.
The smart home also contained virtual reality textbooks that can be stored on a single 3D printed object that learners scan with their smartphones and then proceed to see 3D animations of certain subject matter.
Subsequently, learners introduced attendees to the BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized computer that facilitates the communication between software and hardware in multiple ways.
Learners used this technology to code and create a digital guitar, a water dispenser that senses when a plant has dry soil, and a physical touch game.
They further exhibited a robotic car that they coded to be remote controlled via a mobile app, which they coded themselves.
They also created environmentally friendly and biodegradable packaging and created their own calculator, which is available on every learner’s tablet.
Learners also created and coded an app where other learners can access past exam papers offline, and three games (Tic-Tac-Toe, Colour Memory, 2D Paint) that all learners from the school can play alone on one smartboard or against each other.
Born and raised in Bophelong, Oliphant grew to become a prolific figure in the province’s basic education sector and played a significant role in South African soccer and community development.
He is a former president of the South African Football Association.
– CAJ News