- The government of KwaZulu-Natal has launched a 4IR skills laboratory in Pietermaritzburg.
- Primary school learners and other youths will be able to take advantage of the robotics, space technology, data analytics, multimedia production and VR programmes offered by the laboratory.
- The province’s government hopes to launch other similar labs across KZN’s districts in the coming months.
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Nomusa Dube-Ncube has launched a new mobile digital skills laboratory in the province as part of the Connect Smart Province Project. The project is anchored around solving social issues with smart business processes and 4IR technology.
According to SA News, the Mobile Digital Analytics Skills Laboratories was launched recently at the Orient Heights Primary School in Pietermaritzburg.
The lab aims to expose learners to fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies in the hopes of getting more South African youths earlier starts to take part in the digital economy.
It is completely off the grid through solar power and has back-up generators ensuring learning does not get disrupted by loadshedding.
“We want to expose our learners from a young age to a world of new horizons of work and careers, which are broadened to include Space Technology, Data Analytics, Multimedia Production and 9D Technology,” Dube-Ncube said.
“9D Technology” entails virtual reality, though we’re not sure what learners are getting educated on in terms of VR. The technology has been earmarked as a “4IR” tech and is often the visual representation of emerging technologies, but usually, it is applied to entertainment industries such as gaming, as well as the corporate world such as with Meta.
During the mobile lab’s unveiling, the Premier said that young people must start working on the “technology gadgets” in the lab – which are aimed at enforcing skills such as robotics and the operation of drones. Data analytics also seems to be a focus of the laboratory and is a growing industry in the country which is desperate for skilled workers.
“The digitalisation of education in the province has been at the forefront of our agenda and the use of technology has been further spurred by COVID-19 which forced us to learn and engage virtually through online platforms,” the Premier added.
The KZN government hopes to launch similar labs across the rest of the province, district by district, in the coming months.