South Africa: Experts Approve Mid-Level High School Certificate, but Wary of Ailing TVET Sector


The introduction of a General Education Certificate for Grade 9 pupils means learners who decide against the traditional schooling route will have an option to either choose a technical vocational or occupational stream and possibly complete their education at a TVET institution - a sector presently limping from one challenge to the next. Nonetheless, the Department of Basic Education is adamant that this proposed system will bear fruit for the future of education - a view even supported by education experts.

When news broke that South Africa's schooling system will adopt a general education certificate (GEC) policy that will allow Grade 9 pupils to streamline to technical vocational or occupational learning, the basic education ministry received a lot of criticism.

Partly because some media reports misrepresented an address by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga during a summit hosted by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU). It was also compounded by the frustration of the known challenges confronting the education system such as inadequate schooling infrastructure, poor learning conditions, insufficient learning materials and the recent spate of violence.

However, Grade 9 pupils have, for the longest time now, rejected the traditional schooling route in preference of enrolling at a Technical...

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