Minister on Grade 9 certificate: I never said kids must exit system

Minister on Grade 9 certificate: I never said kids must exit system

- Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has explained what the government intends with the General Education Certificate

- The minister explained that the certificate was intended to symbolise that Grade 9 pupils had finished a phase of schooling

- This follows an outcry over the interpretation that this would encourage students to exit high school at that stage

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Minister Angie Motshekga has responded to the backlash over the proposed Grade 9 General Education Certificate.

The Basic Education veteran commented on the situation, clarifying that students would not be encouraged to leave school at that point:

“We are not talking about anything new. And people should not put anything into our mouths… I never said kids must exit the system. A certificate does not mean exiting a system. It means exiting a phase.”

The Citizen reports that Parliament had heard how the GEC had been registered in 2009 already but was only being implemented ten years later because the education system was more stable now.

READ ALSO: Minister: Allowing Grade 9 pupils to leave will offer opportunities

Basic Education chief director for curriculum, Dr Moses Simelane, explained that the GEC would acknowledge the learner's schooling up until that point and then give them access to three learning pathways:

“We want to align the three-stream model by increasing the number of focused schools, mapped against special economic and industrial zones, the 10 of them which we have in the country."

News24 reports that the three streams would offer a student an academic, vocational or occupational route. reported that the news of a Grade 9 certificate had not been well received, with numerous citizens feeling it would spur dropouts.

However, Parliament heard that the certificate would only be issued on demand, not automatically, with possible fees charged to obtain it.

Simelane revealed that the qualification would be finalised at the end of next year, with hopes that it could be rolled out from 2022.

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