Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has denied saying government plans to make Grade 9 a second exit point of schooling.
In a statement issued on Friday, her department expressed concern at the “misleading media reports and social media posts.”
It said her comments at the SADTU National Congress on Thursday have been misinterpreted.
The department quoted what the minister said in her speech:
The Field Trial for the General Education Certificate (GEC) at the end of Grade 9 is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2020. A draft framework for the GEC has been developed.Angie Motshekga
The department explained that the GEC’s purpose “is to equip learners with the values, knowledge and skills” for meaningful participation in society.
GEC will only serve to acknowledge these skills as a foundation for further studies, it added.
Offering a GEC is not an indication of the exit of learners from a learning pathway in schools but provides better decision-making for and access to further learning after Grade 9.Department of Basic Education
In her speech at SADTU congress, Motshekga was quoted saying government plans to introduce “multiple qualifications such as GEC before the Grade 12 exit qualification.”
She said this would reduce “reduce failure, repetition, and drop-out rates.”
It appears this is where the confusion about the matter emerged.
South Africans on social media strongly opposed what they thought amounted to a premature exit point of schooling.
Among them was African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Mzwanele Manyi.
He accused government of trying to achieve “Verwoed’s dream of an African child who must not go beyond a certain level of education to enable his/her exploitation by Capitalists.”