Namibia’s first robot school to open in June

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-In an exciting move by dynamic local duo, Bjorn and Kirstin Wiedow of FABlab fame, a new and inventive school will launch in Windhoek in June 2018, aptly dubbed ROBOTSCHOOL – ‘the robotics hardware and software school for kids of the future’.

Technology is no doubt building the future as we all witness explosions of it in our everyday lives; from the fast evolving of the brick phone to the super sleek iPhone and now tablets and even locally designed small form factor computers like the inspirational PEBL from local innovator Vincent van Wyk, we are dependent on it to survive.
According to the World Economic Forum, over half of the world’s young people will end up in jobs that haven’t been created yet.

Considering the current curriculum that children between the ages of 6 and 13 are learning, it is worth noting that this curriculum was developed years ago and in parallel the digital era and Fourth Industrial Revolution are changing everything around us daily – these two need to go hand-in-hand if we are to learn the skills we need today, sadly this is not the case for many countries.

Preparing the youth to be an actively contributing generation requires investment in new educational content such as robotics. “Building a foundation in the fundamentals of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) fields is the basis every child needs; we believe that kids as young as 6 years old should have access to a creative and engaging environment where they can learn about the inner workings of the tools they are so accustomed to and use through every touchpoint of their lives; applying critical thinking and, thereby, becoming the problem-solvers of tomorrows glitches” said co-founder Wiedow.

In an analysis by the Programme for International Student Assessments on the best performing countries in which children “are best at collaborative problem-solving1”, Asia is in the lead with Singapore taking the number one spot followed closely by Japan and South Korea. The local team have strategically partnered with one of Japan’s most promising young start-ups to bring a phenomenal curriculum to the country which has a duration of 5 years.

“Learners start with the basics and progress to Python and high-level programming applied to robotics when they enter their final year before graduating with a Master Certificate at the young age of 13” explained Wiedow.
The founding ROBOTSCHOOL instructor is Deborah Ajibola, a NUST Software Engineering honours degree student who has been running robotics classes with the FABlab over the past year and the school is set to officially launch in June 2018.

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