education school

Minister Angie Motshekga speaking at the launch of the National Reading Coalition (NRC). Photo: Flickr/GCIS

Education department’s big promises: Here’s what parents need to know

General Education Certificates, increased access to vocational-oriented subjects and ECD: These are a few of the changes coming to schools.

education school

Minister Angie Motshekga speaking at the launch of the National Reading Coalition (NRC). Photo: Flickr/GCIS

The South African Department of Education is working on a number of short-term plans to improve the country’s current schooling system. Some of the plans include big language changes, introducing General Education Certificates from grade 9, and increasing the number of Bachelor pass matriculants.

These changes are coming to SA schools soon

Over the last few months, the Department of Education has made a number of announcements regarding the upcoming school changes set to take place over the course of the next few years.

Speaking during a parliamentary setting last week, the department reiterated its plans to introduce two years of early childhood development (ECD) that will be compulsory for all children.

According to the department, this change will result in more children learning important reading and math skills before they enter grade 1.

Business Tech reports that the department also plans to provide further support to Foundation Phase (Grade R – Grade 3) teachers, including Individualised coaching and Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) tools.

ALSO READ: Attention parents: These school changes will soon be compulsory for kids

General Education and Training

Meanwhile, more changes include an introduction of the General Education Certificate (GEC) at the end of Grade 9.

According to the department, introducing GEC will help the transition from schools to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

This will also allow children’s achievements to be formally recognised at the end of grade 9 which is also the end of the compulsory phase of schooling, which the department maintains will help them secure jobs.

The department has however said that this in no way means that grade 9 will become an exit point for students.

Further Education and Training (FET)

The department has also expressed strategies to improve the National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric pass rate. Some of the things they would like to achieve include:

  • More South African schools need to meet minimum infrastructure standards, as well as standards relating to decent water and sanitation.
  • A huge increase in the number of learners obtaining a Bachelor’s pass in the NSC by 190,000 in 2024
  • Increased access to vocational-oriented subjects in Grade 10 – 12, particularly subjects such as computing and engineering
  • Increasing the number of students with a 60% mark in mathematics and physical science to 35,000

ALSO READ: Goodbye English? Big language changes scheduled for SA schools