DBE Pilots General Education Certificate For Grade 9 Learners

DBE Pilots General Education Certificate For Grade 9 Learners

The DBE is piloting the rollout of the General Education Certificate which will be given to Grade 9 learners to address the current issue of many learners leaving school without a national qualification.


The General Education Certificate is piloted by the Department of Basic Education, which aims to provide learners, who wish to leave school after Grade 9, with a national qualification that will allow them to navigate the labour market without any difficulty.

The GEC is predicated on the three-stream model which includes the Academic, Vocational, and Technical pathway.

The Department has announced that the GEC is not an indication of the exit of learners from a learning pathway but that it offers better decision making for access to further learning after Grade 9.

According to the DBE, the General Education Certificate will be rolled out fully in 2023.

Dr Mark Chetty, the Director of the National Assessments in the DBE, announced that later this year in 2021 the DBE will be piloting an assessment model which is both an innovative and exciting approach to assessments.

The assessment model breaks away from the traditional examinations as it aims to understand the capabilities of learners.

The project-based assessments will be incorporated into many different subjects and aim to look at how learners integrate information across different subject areas to solve a particular issue. 

The assessment model will be introduced as part of the GEC and inclinations assessment which looks at learners’ self-knowledge, attributes and inclinations in terms of career pathways. 

Dr Chetty stated that the DBE will continue to maintain the curriculum standard testing, however, also incorporate these new elements to create an exciting journey for the learners when they choose a specific career.

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