At the Basic Education Department’s Lekgotla (meeting place) in Boksberg on Monday January 21, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke on a number of issues surrounding the country’s education system, stating that South Africa needed to improve the efficiency in key subject education, specifically for early schooling.
Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address and called on the basic education sector to focus on the critical areas below:
– Early childhood development
– Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy on improving reading
– Promoting inclusivity, efficiency and quality
– Strengthening care and support for learners
– Developing capabilities in data analytics, coding, the Internet of Things, and blockchain technology.
He also addressed the need for South Africa’s education system to be more flexible, especially when facilitating students’ transitions between education levels, and drew attention to the idea of introducing a new high school certificate. This certificate or General Education Certificate (GEC) would fall just below the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and is aimed at bridging the gap between schools and higher education institutions.
“Apart from facilitating the transition from school to college, a GEC would address the current problem of hundreds of thousands of young people leaving education completely each year, with no national qualification with which to navigate the labour market,” he said.
There is no information available as to when this new certificate will be introduced but the idea has been officially brought forward for consideration and further discussion in the Western Cape Education Department.