President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the Department of Basic Education and education experts to use their combined knowledge to create a school curriculum that will adapt to the changing demands of South Africa's society and economy.
This includes encouraging young people to pursue careers in technical and vocational fields.
The president was speaking at the 8th annual Basic Education Lekgotla last Thursday, with this year’s theme being: “Equipping Learners with Knowledge and Skills for a Changing World Post the Covid-19 Pandemic”.
The three-stream model (academic, technical vocational and technical occupational) has been identified as being critical if the country is to adapt and thrive in the new world of work.
According to the President, the main objective of the model is to increase the quality and access to quality education through increasing learner access to technical, vocational and skills (TVS) subjects and schools.
Ramaphosa continued, “The skills that our country needs, the jobs that can grow our economy, and importantly, the avenues for entrepreneurship that are so sorely needed, can best be achieved by increasing learner access to technical and vocational subjects.”
In order to adequately address the scourge of unemployment in the country subjects like agricultural, nautical, and marine sciences, and electrical, civil, and mechanical technology must be developed and offered at many schools.
The president affirmed that if learners are provided with more subject choices and better guidance, it would also reduce learner drop-out rates
That training must start at school, and it is that training that will keep young people focused. The economy is hungry for those skilled in those disciplines. Inclusive growth and shared prosperity can only really be achieved when more people are working.
Further encouragement is needed for young people to make a habit of learning new skills and said the nation should adapt a “lifelong learning approach”
“A productive workforce cannot be achieved if we do not commit our nation to lifelong learning, we must encourage people to embark upon to go and learn beyond what we learnt at school and university.”
Additionally, Ramaphosa says that TVET college enrolments must be a choice and should be encouraged.