Department Introduces New School Certificate

In the 2021/22 academic plan, the Government has decided to introduce a General Education Certificate that will be awarded to learners after completing a certain grade. This is to promote other schooling and post-schooling options that are valuable to learners. 

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The Government has decided to introduce a new certificate that is awarded to students after the completion of Grade 9. 

The General Education Certificate (GEC) is the first level of the National Qualification Framework (NQF), received after completing the compulsory phase of schooling. 

After completing your GEC, learners are welcome to choose more technical and focused subjects that correspond with their career choices. They also have the option to finish their schooling at a TVET institution. 

The possible new certificate is currently at Umalusi where it will be reviewed and approved. 

Note that receiving this certificate does not indicate an exit point for schooling but, more an entrance into a more focused form of schooling. 

TVET colleges have always been available to students who wish to attend a different form of school but, over the years University is been promoted by teachers and parents as the only post-schooling option. 

The introduction of the new certificate seeks to promote other forms of schooling and post-schooling, like choosing technical subjects or finishing your schooling at a TVET college, which equips you with vocational and technical skills. 

In an interview with Businesstech the Department of Education says: 

In particular, vocational training options within schools and beyond basic education were not sufficiently available and when available, were undervalued by many teachers and parents.

"This is partly a symptom of the history of unequal access to both university and vocational training under apartheid and the legacy of race-based job reservation."

In the future school plan, the Department of Education wishes to prove that there are other suitable opportunities for learners, and help, teachers, parent, learners and the system realize that there is more to schooling and post-schooling than just University 

Though a University education is valuable, other forms of education have not been receiving the recognition they deserve to be successful. 

"Going forward, there is a need to provide learners with better access to vocationally-oriented subjects and for schools to play a more proactive role in alerting the youth to new training and job opportunities so as to move away from the notion of university studies as the sole post-school study option.” says the Department.

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