President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the implementation of an education policy officially making grade 9 one of the exit points for schooling to be speeded up.
The thumbs-up from Ramaphosa means that the plan — which saw basic education Angie Motshekga receive flak from the public for saying learners who want to exit basic education at grade 9 will be given certificates — is now practically official policy.
The three-stream curriculum model of basic education will enable pupils to walk away with a general education certificate.
It will also allow them to choose between academic, technical or vocational streams in line with their strengths.
“We will continue to prioritise the upskilling of educators and school management,” Ramaphosa said.
“We will continue to adapt the curriculum to prepare learners for the fourth industrial revolution and increase resources for TVET colleges.”
He called on the private sector and other partners to work with training authorities to develop the skills that the economy needed.
“As we expand access to early childhood development, there needs to be an intensive focus on early reading, which determines a child’s educational progress through school, through higher education and into the workplace,” he added.
“We must speed up the implementation … for learners to make an easy transition from school to colleges and universities and to be educated and trained in a way that meets the skills and labour demands of the country’s economy.”
He also lauded the matric results released by Motshekga this week.
“The results (matric) demonstrate that SA has made great strides in improving educational outcomes over the last 25 years, particularly in township and rural schools.”
However, Ramaphosa said more still needed to be done to effectively prepare SA youth for the future economy.