teacher, life orientation

Limpopo teacher Ali Mokgalaka has proposed a new national curriculum, without Life Orientation.
Image via Twitter:
@alimoca987/ WOKANDAPIX, Pixabay

Life Orientation out, ‘practical’ subjects in, says SA’s ‘Top Teacher’

SA’s ‘Top Teacher’ Ali Mokgalaka wants Life Orientation to be dropped from school syllabuses and these ‘practical’ subjects be picked instead.

teacher, life orientation

Limpopo teacher Ali Mokgalaka has proposed a new national curriculum, without Life Orientation.
Image via Twitter:
@alimoca987/ WOKANDAPIX, Pixabay

Ali Mokgalaka, a Limpopo teacher representing South Africa at the Global Teacher Awards in Dubai in September, is proposing a new school syllabus. And the first thing he wants to get rid of is Life Orientation.

The Hoërskool Frans du Toit educator wants the Department of Education to drop the subject in favour of more practical ones, like artisan skill development and entrepreneurial skills.

Mokgalaka was the recipient of the 2022 National Teaching Awards.


Speaking to City Press, Ali Mokgalaka called on the education department to replace Life Orientation in their national curriculum.

He also wants authorities to ditch sex education, which he claims should be left to parents.

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He told the publication: “My proposal is that the Department of Education introduces plumbing in Grade 8 as a practical subject every day in the curriculum, carpentry in Grade 9, electricity in grades 10 and 11, and driver’s licence in matric, to ensure these pupils are entrepreneurial and they can pay for their tertiary education while running their own business at home or even online.

teacher, life orientation
An award-winning teacher wants Life Orientation scrapped as a subject in the curriculum. Image via DoE

Mokgalaka – who claimed that “teaching is my passion,” wants students to pick up practical subjects “so they can feed themselves and their families, as opposed to depending on grants.”

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He added: “One of the responsibilities we have as parents and teachers is to ensure sustainable development for our children and not policies that leave them unemployable and indulging in drugs and or behaving violently.”


According to the Department of Education, Life Orientation is based on six principles.

  • Development of the self in society
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Democracy and human rights
  • Careers and career choices
  • Study skills
  • Physical Education

The subject is taught from grades R- 9 but becomes compulsory for grades 10, 11, and 12 . It is also a required for the National Senior Certificate.

The department defines the subject as a “unique subject in that it applies a holistic approach to learners’ personal, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, motor, and physical growth and development.

“This encourages the development of a balanced and confident learner who can contribute to a just and democratic society, a productive economy, and an improved quality of life for all”.

The subject was introduced in the late 1990s by then Education Minister Kader Asmal as part of the Outcomes-Based Education approach.

Over the years, Life Orientation has been criticised by parents and education analysts for being “out of touch” with reality.