New School Certificate for Grade 9 Pupils Aims to Enhance Skills and Career Readiness

New School Certificate for Grade 9 Pupils Aims to Enhance Skills and Career Readiness

  • The Basic Education Department is intensifying the piloting of the new General Education Certificate
  • The program, currently in a piloting phase, is set to be fully implemented by 2025 and aims to provide all Grade 9 learners with the opportunity to earn the certificate
  • The department emphasised the importance of the certificate and how it helps identify students' skills early on

Trisha Pillay is a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg. For 13 years, she has devoted her professional life to covering social issues and community news, sharing her expertise with newsrooms such as The Citizen newspaper, African News Network, and Newzroom Afrika. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email with CA in the subject line.

New school certificate set to enhance skills.
The Basic Education Department explains the purpose of the new school certificate for Grade 9 learners. Images: Ericaurena
Source: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department has clarified its initiative to introduce the General Education Certificate for Grade 9 pupils.

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New grade 9 certificate

In an interview with eNCA, Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule emphasised that the role of the certificate is to identify and enhance learners' skills at an early age.

Mhaule says:

" We need to focus on grade 9. We can identify their strengths and enhance their knowledge base by identifying their skills."

The department added that the certificate focuses on career development and education, underscoring a proactive approach to empowering learners and motivating them to succeed beyond Grade 9.

Full rollout by 2025

The certificate has been piloted in areas focusing on technical and vocational studies. The department says this year, the course will undergo refinement, with full implementation planned for 2025, where all learners will be required to participate.

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Mzansi remains sceptical

Many South Africans have raised concerns about the pilot programme and are not convinced it would help with the high school dropout rate.

Here are some of the reactions:

@Shaun Lehlohonolo Phaks Jr. said:

"Instead of encouraging kids to leave school, why not teach them something about entrepreneurship?"

@Pauline Leclerc commented:

"Who’s going to hire them? Just get your matric to be safe."

@Solomon Matli shared:

"It's not a good idea at all. People with degrees struggle to find jobs already, and this certificate will only make things worse."

@Hoosain Johnson expressed:

"At this rate, a matric certificate can't guarantee a job; imagine grade 9."

@Stacey Bonelle said:

"So, basically, the value they instil is that you can quit and work because we have so many jobs available that even the qualified can't get jobs."

@Heila Ungerer commented:

"What a horrible idea. We have grown adults with Drs degrees who can't get jobs."

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Department of Basic Education to introduce Grade 9 certificate

In a related story, Briefly News reported that the Department of Basic Education will soon introduce a certificate for those who pass grade nine.

The certificate is expected to address high unemployment levels and will give those who want to leave school at grade nine a qualification.

South Africans argued over whether this was a good idea, and those who supported it gave reasons.

Source: Briefly News

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