The Department of Basic Education is phasing in 38 new subjects to grades 10-12 as part of their three-stream model to fully integrated by 2025.
Image via Pixabay

‘Ready for jobs’: Education department to launch 38 new subjects

Here is a look at the 38 new subjects to be phased into grades 10-12 by the Department of Basic Education’s ‘curriculum shift’ by 2025.


The Department of Basic Education is phasing in 38 new subjects to grades 10-12 as part of their three-stream model to fully integrated by 2025.
Image via Pixabay

The Department of Basic Education has set into motion a three-stream education model – which will see the addition of 38 new subjects into the curriculum –  intended to boost jobs and tackle unemployment.

The curriculum shift will target learners from grade 10 to 12 and is set to be fully integrated by 2025.


According to the Department of Basic Education,  the new roll-out will target academic, occupational, and vocational education streams. And the aim is to “help learners get a better education and into jobs”.

Currently, the education system places a strong emphasis on the academic stream, which focuses on getting learners through matric and into universities and centres for higher learning.

However, with the high dropout rate of high-school learners, the department is focusing on the other two streams

“It is because we are subjecting children to an academic stream when some of them are differently gifted. And if they could be supported to use their hands, these children will succeed,” the department’s Chief Director for Mathematics Science and Technology Seliki Tlhabane told Newzroom Afrika.

He continued: “Society has the wrong impression that the vocational and occupational programmes are of a lower standard to the academic”.

“And basic education has a massive role to play to ensure that these children are supported and afforded opportunities based on their interest and aptitude to follow certain streams”.

He added that the aim of the model was to “ready learners for the world of work”.

“It is about taking children’s abilities and creating pathways that are going to support them to enter the job market and be able to participate meaningfully”.

And the fundamental difference between the three education streams comes down to practical work, says Tlhabane.

  • Academic streams will require minimum practical work 
  • Vocational streams will require 50% theory and 50% practical work
  • And occupational streams will require 25% theory and 75% practical work

According to BusinessTech, the curriculum streams feed into the department’s launch of the General Education Certificate (GEC), which has been trialled this year. A full rollout is expected by 2024.

The GEC will be granted to grade 9 learners, allowing them the opportunities to pursue occupational and vocational training.


According to the Department of Basic Education, some of the occupational subjects that have already been trialled include:

  • Agricultural Studies
  • Beauty and Nail Technology
  • Art and Crafts
  • Ancillary Health Care
  • Office Administration
  • Upholstery
  • Early Childhood Development (ECD)
  • Maintenance
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Food Production
  • Body Works/ Panel Beating and or Spray Painting
  • Needlework
  • Welding
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Sheet metal work
  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Electrical Technology
  • Bricklaying and Plastering
  • Woodworking and Timber
  • Plumbing
  • Hairdressing

Some of the prominent vocational subjects include:

  • Agricultural Studies
  • Art and Design
  • Digital Technology
  • ECD
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Electrical Technology (Digital, Electronics and Electrical)
  • Civil Technology
  • Hairdressing and Beauty
  • Ancillary Health Care
  • Services: Maintenance and Upholstery
  • Consumer Studies
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Wholesale and Retail Studies

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