NATIONAL CERTIFICATE (VOCATIONAL) [NC(V)]:
PROGRAMMING AND ROBOTICS
NQF LEVEL 2-4
ABOUT THIS PROGRAMME
The National Certificate (Vocational) offers Grade 9 students a vocational alternative to an academic Grade 10-12 by offering specialised training on NQF Levels 2-4.
You will qualify with a specialised NQF Level 4 certificate that will enable you to gain a solid foundation and essential skills in programming with a special focus on robotics and industrial automation, engineering graphics and electronic concepts; skills that are required in the fields of, inter alia, manufacturing automation, vehicle autonomy, security device hardware, infrastructure automation and IoT (internet of things).
Minimum admission requirements
Grade 9 Certificate or NQF Level 1 equivalent.
This qualification is the first step towards a career path in one of the following:
IoT Operator/Device manager
IT hardware installer
The NC(V) is a 3-year, full-time qualification with a certificate at NQF Level 4.
Fundamental Subjects NQF Levels 2-4
- English First Additional Language
- Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy
- Life Skills & Computer Skills
- Electronics and Digital Concepts for Robotics
- Robotics Fundamentals
- Basic Principles of Computer Programming and Computer Literacy
- Engineering Graphics and Technology
Electronics and Digital Concepts for Robotics
Introduction to Robotics
Introduction to Technical Programming
Engineering Graphics and Design
- Electronics and Digital Concepts for Robotics
- Robotics and Industrial Automation
- Technical Programming
- Mechanical Draughting and Technology
WHAT DO THESE SUBJECTS ENTAIL?
English First Additional Language:
The following modules are designed to refine English language skills and content: Listening and Speaking, Reading and Viewing, Writing and Presenting, Language and Communication in Practice.
Life Skills & Computer Skills:
Life Skills is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. This subject addresses knowledge, values, attitudes and skills about the self, the environment, responsible citizenship, a healthy and productive life, social engagement, recreation and physical activity, and career choices. Computer skills are abilities and knowledge which allow you to use computers and related technology such as word processing software, access the Internet, manage files, or create presentations.
This subject empowers students to solve problems creatively and critically using numbers, functions and algebra, data handling, space, shape and measurement and finance.
Mathematical Literacy provides students with an awareness of and understanding of the role that mathematics plays in the modern world. Mathematical Literacy is a subject driven by life-related applications of mathematics.
Electronics and Digital Concepts for Robotics:
Electronics and Digital Concepts for Robotics (EDCR) aims to equip students with Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technology functional capabilities through the transfer of necessary trade-specific skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes for students.
Robotics is an inter- and multi-disciplinary subject and tool that involves components of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The one predominant driving force behind the uptake and surge of robotics as a subject is its evidential links to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Olsen (2018) also expositions that, “Robotics is the exciting intersection of a number of engineering fields including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science.” A fourth important dimension that could be added to the exposition of Olsen (2018) as presented above is that of creativity. Robotics as a subject and the notion that it stimulates and develops a student’s creativity has been argued by various scholars such as (Messias, G., Rodrigues, U., Braga, L., Nakamura, W., Ferreira, B., Paiva, A. & Valentim, N., 2018; Sullivan, A. & Bers, M.U., 2018). The opinions of Zawieska and Duffy (2015) encapsulates this notion when they state that, “Creativity in educational robotics has been typically associated with the constructionist learning paradigm and the processes of building, programming and manipulating task-centric robotic platforms.”
The digital age we currently find ourselves in resulted from the Third Industrial Revolution in communications and information technology. The next phase in industrial development is the integration of production, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. Technologies widely used to facilitate this integration include robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, biotechnology, cloud computing, and big data – with the end result being a number of hi-tech industrial processes that characterise the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Bloem et al. 2014; Ellen Frederick 2016). In the past, it was acceptable for a worker to “only operate”. Later, workers were required to “understand and operate”. With the current technologies part of the new hi-tech industrial processes that a worker is confronted with, the new mantra is “operate understand and modify”. To not only work with a piece of technology, but to actively modify the operating parameters to suit the current and future industrial needs, will require a worker to speak the language of technology. Workers will need to programme robots and 3D printers, programmatically interact with biotechnology, train or verify artificial intelligence against big data, or logically connect and orchestrate the different IoT devices connected to the cloud. The aim of this subject is to introduce programming as a form of communication and expression to accomplish the above, providing the student with a solid foundation in logical thinking and enabling them to design and present stepwise solutions and transform the abstract into the symbolic. It also incorporates the study of the integrated components of a computer system (hardware and software) and the practical techniques for their efficient use and application to solve everyday problems. The solutions to problems are designed, managed and processed via end-user applications, software development tools (including visual programming tools) and communicated using appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs). The subject content includes knowledge (described as theoretical and/or factual knowledge) and skills, described as:
- Cognitive: involving the use of logical, intuitive, creative and computational thinking
- Practical: involving the use of steps, procedures, principles, techniques, strategies and tools.
Engineering drawing is used to provide details about an object, whether the object exists or is being conceptualised, giving the object a form of existence as a design of the object. When the design of the object is implemented, we get the object to exist if it was not yet in existence, and if it already existed, we get a duplicate of the object, and that is the basis of manufacturing goods. Each product is unique in the sense that it’s an individual product, although it’s the exact duplicate of another product. Engineering graphics takes the idea of engineering drawing a step further: along with the details of an object, we want to see its visual representation before it is actually developed, manufactured or developed into the real world.