Monday, 10 January 2022 10:37

Basic Education publish list of new subjects to be implemented in schools.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Department of Basic Education has published a list of new subjects implemented in schools in South Africa over the last five years.

Many of these subjects are aimed at directly helping those school-leaving pupils who will not necessarily complete Grade 12, or enter university.

The subjects cover a wide range of fields, including agriculture, art, and various technology-related subjects:

1. Art and design

The primary purpose of the subject is to develop learners as creative, imaginative individuals who appreciate the arts and who have the basic knowledge and skills to participate in arts activities and to prepare them for possible further study in the art forms of their choice in Further Education and Training (FET), the department said.

2. Agricultural studies

Agricultural sciences is the study of the relationship between soils, plants and animals in the production and processing of food, fibre, fuel and other agricultural commodities with an economic, aesthetic and cultural value.

3. Ancilliary healthcare

Ancillary health care aims to teach students the meaning of health care and wellness and how these skills can be applied in everyday life. This includes helping students care for themselves, their families and communities, and the workplace.

4. Aquaponics

Aquaponics aims to reach students about aquaculture with hydroponics, and the ultimate goal of growing plants. The subject also focuses on how aquaponics technology can be used as a possible food source in communities.

5. Aviation studies

Aviation studies cover general aviation theory to prepare students for work in the aviation sector.

6. Civil technology

Civil technology aims to develop the skills levels of learners from grades 8 – 9 to such an extent that they will be able to enter a career pathway at a further education and training college or a university immediately after obtaining the National Senior Certificate.

Learners will then be ready to enter into apprenticeships to prepare them for a trade test.

7. Consumer studies

Some of the issues that learners will learn in grades 8 and 9 consumer studies include:

  • Consumer rights and responsibilities;
  • Consumer Protection Policies;
  • Channels for complaints;
  • How to evaluate food outlets, clothing outlets, furniture and appliances;
  • How to evaluate design features of interiors, furniture and appliances;
  • Responsible buying behaviour;
  • Responsible use of resources such as water and electricity;
  • Ways to curb global warming.

8. Digital technology

Digital technology is the use of computers, applications and internet technologies to enable users to communicate, create, store, distribute and manage information and solve real-life problems using appropriate tools and techniques.

9. Early childhood development

Under early childhood development (ECD), the learner will be able to do the following:

  • Understand how ECD centres are managed;
  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment;
  • Develop teaching and learning resources;
  • Understand how babies, toddlers and young children develop;
  • Demonstrate how to care for babies, toddlers and young children.

10. Electrical technology

Electrical technology aims to equip the learner with a firm foundation in electrical electronics and digital principles.

It provides a foundation of quality, standardised general education which will suit the needs of the learners and help prepare them for life after school and enable them to access particular employment or occupational workplace-based learning.

South Africa’s inland schools will reopen on Wednesday (12 January), while the country’s coastal schools cluster will return a week later on 19 January.

Several new subjects are expected to be trialled and introduced in the coming year, including entrepreneurship and coding, and robotics.

The department said that 540 schools would be monitored nationally for implementing compulsory entrepreneurship education. The initiative is being driven by president Cyril Ramaphosa and is expected to officially form part of the curriculum by 2024. Ramaphosa has previously emphasised the importance of South Africans embracing a culture of entrepreneurship as the country aims to attract R1.2 trillion in investment over five years.

54 schools are also being monitored for piloting and implementing the coding and robotics curriculum. The subjects will form part of the curriculum at different school levels from grade R to grade 9.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has also announced the  Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIAL), which will target schools that did not offer a previously marginalised official African language.

The minister said that her department is also pushing forward on its plans for ‘mother tongue teaching’, with students allowed to both study and write exams in their home languages.