South African schools may have new and interesting subjects implemented in the future, as the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) discussed during a meeting last week. Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga released a statement on 17 September explaining the Department of Education’s plans for the national education curriculum.

An additional language 

Kiswahili is an official addition to the current 15 non-official languages listed in the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) that will now be a new optional subject at schools.

Motshekga explains that the new addition of Kiswahili will be the first African language added to the list of 15 non-official languages offered at schools.

“There is, unfortunately, no African language in the list of languages. The origin of all these languages is outside of the continent except for Arabic, the Afro-Asiatic language family,” she said.

Kiswahili was chosen as a suitable addition to the languages on offer as it has multiple lexical and linguistic similarities with many other African languages. “It is the third most spoken language in Africa after English and Arabic,” said Motshekga.

The addition of Kiswahili has been confirmed to be implemented in the 2020 curriculum year for learners.

Marine Sciences 

The CEM has also approved the addition of Marine Sciences. The Two Oceans Aquarium has been hard at work with the Department of Education since the start of 2017 to develop Marine Sciences as a subject.

The implementation of Marine Sciences will further develop maritime programmes offered at 11 coastal schools who currently only offer Maritime Economics to students. Maritime Sciences will offer subject topics such as Marine Biology, Oceanography, Environmental Sustainability and Human Interactions with the Ocean.


The Department of Education is working towards implementing Coding as a subject at schools. It is an exciting development considering the current technological advancements that are occurring.

The possible addition of coding will provide learners with computational thinking skills. The course will encourage the growth of learners in the following areas: creativity, ability to explain, teamwork as well as increase learners ability to think logically, algorithmically and recursively.

It is a subject that will require learners to determine the task they want to complete through the use of a robot, designing the code to make the actions happen and computing it through to the robot to view the outcome.

It provides an exciting movement towards equipping learners with the ability to cope with the increasing developments in technology and for what lies ahead in the use of artificial intelligence and robotics.

It has not yet been confirmed when coding will be introduced as the subject is still currently being developed.

Picture: Unsplash

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