In an address to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu),Minister of Basic Education,Angie Motshekga said government’s plans to allow students to leave school at the end of Grade 9.
Motshekga said that her department is working on the implementation of standardised assessments to reduce failure, repetition, and drop-out rates.
“We are also working on the introduction of multiple qualifications such as the General Education Certificate before the Grade 12 exit qualification.”
She said that the field trial for the General Education Certificate (GEC) at the end of Grade 9 is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2020.
But the departmental spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said Motshekga's announcement was misinterpreted.
Offering a GEC is not an indication of the exit of learners from a learning pathway in schools but provides better decision-making for and access to further learning after Grade 9," Mhlanga said.
The certificate is meant to offer pathways between schools and colleges at a level below Grade 12.
He added that the GEC would be an NQF-registered qualification to be awarded after the completion of Grade 9.
Government has previously hinted at the introduction of a new school certificate, with the new Grade 9 qualification recognising the completion of General Education and Training Band (GET Band)
These learners can then decide to continue with their school studies, study further in TVET colleges or even choose to enter into the world of work.
Now after Grade 9 you can further your studies or got to TVET. This has been going on for years with ABET Level 4. Which is in the same category as Gr 9. They are both exit phases of the GET BAND. The only difference was that there was no certificate issued upon passing Grade 9.— Chief Erican (@EricanSA) September 27, 2019
I’m a Grade 9 teacher. The current curriculum is so irrelevant to an extent that it doesn’t prepare our children for the corporate world. We need a skill based curriculum more than anything.— Thapelo Ngozo (@IamThapeloNgozo) September 26, 2019
Let’s change the curriculum first before discussing exit points.