The Department of Basic Education has unveiled a plan to let learners leave school at Grade 9 with a General Education Certificate.
The plan was unveiled by Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga during her speech at the SADTU National Congress at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
This plan, Motshekga said, forms part of the initiative to deal “decisively with the quality and efficiency through the implementation of standardised assessments”.
These standardised assessments are aimed at reducing failure, repetition, and drop-out rates in South African schools.
New General Education Certificate
Motshekga said her department is working on the introduction of multiple qualifications such as the General Education Certificate (GEC) before the Grade 12 exit qualification.
“The field trial for the General Education Certificate at the end of Grade 9 is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2020,” she said.
The minister added that the draft framework for the General Education Certificate in Grade 9 has been developed.
“Assessment and examination modalities for the GEC are being investigated and have been presented at the HEDCOM [Higher Education Committee] meeting,” she said.
This certification is set to include technical occupational subjects which have been packaged and submitted to Umalusi for approval.
Preparing students for a changing world
Motshekga said they are implementing a new curriculum focussing on skills and competencies for a changing world.
“It must take into account the disruption brought by the 4th Industrial Revolution as well as the introduction of Entrepreneurship, and schools of specialisation or focus schools,” she said.
As part of the new curriculum the department will introduce new subjects like aviation studies, maritime, coding and robotics.
There is also a plan to introduce 10 types of focus schools throughout the country to offer these new subjects and other skills-based subjects.
“We will establish Hi-Tech, Arts, Maths and Science, BCM, Aviation, Maritime, Engineering, Hospitality & Tourism, Schools of Skills and Commercial Schools,” she said.
The minister added that all schools and education offices will have access to internet and free data within six years.