- As automation and artificial intelligence continue to grow in our daily lives, some jobs may be replaced by machines in the near future
With the realisation that skills and jobs of the future will be inadequate if elements of creativity, ingenuity and innovation are not introduced to the younger generation, the Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology recently hosted the country’s “First Lego League” competition at the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone.
In collaboration with Dare to Dream and the Ministry of Basic Education, the competition centres around exploration of art and encouraging students to imagine and innovate novel methods for creating and communicating art globally.
“The question that remains in our minds is why has robotics and coding become an all-important focus of development for Botswana and rest of the world?” said communications minister, Thulagano Segokgo, at the coding and robotics event.
Job market demands
“We may have seen it coming but little did we anticipate the amount of change that this would ultimately bring, for instance, to the job market demands which are more in favour of valuing individuals with robotics and coding skills.”
With the event held under the theme, “Developing Robotics Skills for the 21st Century Economy,” Segokgo said technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance are increasingly using robotics and automation in their operations. As a result, having knowledge in these areas can provide a competitive edge and open up new opportunities.
“As automation and artificial intelligence continue to grow and become entangled in our everyday lives, some jobs that we grew up doing may be replaced by machines in the near future,” the minister said. “So learning robotics and coding, as students today, gives one a good chance at employability in future.
“Therefore future-proofing requires us to employ strategies to ensure our professional skills and expertise remain relevant and adaptable in the face of technological advancement and a changing job market.”
The national robotics competition attracted an overall attendance of 250 students from 25 schools as far afield as Maun, Kang, Orapa and Gaborone, 150 of whom were participants in the competition while 100 were observers.
Winners of the competition will represent Botswana at the First Lego League Competition in Rwanda in January 2024. “This is an indication of schools’ readiness in recognition of the importance of robotics and coding in today’s education system,” said Minister Segokgo