Department Explains Why Life Orientation Is Needed In School

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The Department of Basic Education is not looking to scrap Life Orientation from the curriculum anytime soon. This is despite calls by politicians to have it scrapped on the basis that it does not serve the demands of the future economy.


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The Basic Education Department has come out in defence of keeping Life Orientation as one of the subjects in the National Curriculum. 

This comes after former Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane took to Twitter on Wednesday and called for the subject to be removed from the curriculum. 

According to Maimane L.O serves no purpose in preparing learners for the demands of the current learning environment and as a result, they gain nothing of true value from the current syllabus.

The former D.A leader further proposed that the Education Department should instead introduce critical thinking and general knowledge as suitable replacements. 

We must scrap Life Orientation and replace it with critical thinking and general knowledge. I am tired of hearing that our young people lack ability, that they have no skills. Our young people are brilliant, they are talented and they are hungry for success. They have been failed by the system. A system that has set low expectations and designed subjects poorly.

In response, the Basic Education Department, spokesperson Elijah called Miamane’s claims baseless and misguided admitting that although it might need to be further developed, the subject does serve a purpose in the curriculum. 

Life Orientation is an important subject in the curriculum. Yes, we need to strengthen the way it is taught but calls to scrap it are unfounded, baseless and misguided.

The Basic Education Department stood by his stance, despite the subject being called into question, by adding that the subject prepares students for life.

“Life Orientation guides and prepares learners for life and its possibilities and equips them for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society.” 

“Life Orientation aims to guide learners to make informed decisions about their health, environment, subject choices, further studies and careers.” 

“Life Orientation is aimed at developing and engaging learners in personal, psychological and neuro-cognitive, motor, physical, moral, spiritual, cultural and socio-economic areas so that they can achieve their full potential in the democracy of South Africa.” stated the Basic Education Department 

However, it is clear that not everyone is in agreement on the matter as a Twitter poll started by Maimane showed that 77% of the social media platform’s users were in favour of his proposal, while more than 22% did not support it.   


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