General Education Certificate set for 2023 start

picture of a learner in a classroom

The GEC is designed to help students make better decisions after Grade 9 and applies to Grades 10 to 12. Picture: Supplied.

Angie Motshekga announced that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has drawn up and submitted the outline of the General Education Certificate (GEC). 

The announcement was made during the tabling of the departments 2020/2021 amended budget vote in a virtual plenary session. Field trials for the General Education Certificate are to be finalised during the next year.

A blueprint has been undertaken to assess whether pupils are more suited to an academic, vocational or occupational path. 

It is designed to help students make better decisions after Grade 9 and applies to Grades 10 to 12. Teachers, parents and pupils will be notified about the results.

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The structure for the implementation of the GEC has been submitted to Umalusi for inspection. Umlasi will also be involved in the accreditation process, apart from approving the final framework of the GEC.

The implementation of the GEC will give learners optional education and training colleges after Grade 9. 

Motshekga also wants to revise the current history curriculum. This will apply to grades between 4 and 12. Consultation is already taking place to define new content and themes. 

A Ministerial Task Team developed the framework for the development of the curriculum and is currently consulting with history curriculum specialists.

Motshekga wants KiSwahili to be offered as another additional language choice between Grades 4 and 12. 

The GEC’s plan, first announced in February 2019, was designed to send more students into technical education.

Besides smoothing the change from school to college, a GEC will tackle the problem of young people emerging from the education process without a national qualification, enabling them to enter the job market.