Technological literacy is paramount in the world of today, and the need for engineers, technicians, and skilled artisans is high. Thus, Technology is a subject which has huge relevance. It may be defined as the use of knowledge, skills, values, and resources to meet people’s needs and wants, by developing practical solutions to problems, with due consideration of social and environmental factors.
How Do Learners Benefit?
Capabilities and skills are developed in learners which will benefit them in all areas of life, and which will also prepare them for ongoing study in the FET and Tertiary Phases. The experience gained in the GET Phase will help learners to make career-oriented subject choices at the end of Grade 9.
The study of Technology leads to the development of a host of capabilities and skills related to:
- Creativity and innovative thinking
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- The management of time and material resources
- Team work
- Use of the tools of technology, for example, design software
Design is a key element in Technology, since any product which is to be manufactured must first be designed. ‘Whether it is style on the outside or innovative technology on the inside, cutting-edge design is now more than ever vital in keeping a company or product competitive. Is it ergonomically sound? Will it stand up to repeated use or resist abuse? Is it designed to be fit-for-purpose? Will the consumer see value in it? Will it be safe to produce and use? Will it impact negatively on certain groups? Is it environmentally friendly?’ (Reference: THE DESIGN ENCYCLOPEDIA by Mel Byars.)
A systematic design process is taught, in which learners combine investigation, designing, production, evaluation, and communication.
Uitenhage High is well able to cater for the technological needs of its staff and learners. Every classroom has its own computer and whiteboard, and every area of the school has access to the Internet. Our air-conditioned Computer Laboratory, equipped with server-based Thin-Client computers, accommodates 30 learners.
Technology and Engineering should never be considered as ‘only for men’. In fact, in these fields, there are as many careers open to women as there are to men. South Africa needs technologically skilled professionals, such as engineers, designers, technicians, and architects, and anyone who enjoys making things, and who has strong mathematical ability, should consider Technology as a subject choice.
(Reference: CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) GRADES 7 – 9 TECHNOLOGY issued by the Department of Basic Education.)
Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world.