Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the first roll-out of the General Education Certificate (GEC) is scheduled for 2023.
Motshekga made the announcement on Wednesday when she tabled the Basic Education Department’s 2020/21 adjusted budget vote during a virtual plenary session.
“Initial field trials on the assessment components are expected to be finalised in the next 12 months, and the first roll-out of the GEC is scheduled for 2023.
“Work has been commissioned on a blueprint for assessment options, that will inform learners, teachers, parents and the system about the suitability of learners to undertake an academic, vocational or occupational track in Grades 10-12,” she said.
Motshekga said her department has drafted and submitted the policy framework for the introduction of the GEC to quality council authority- Umalusi for review and approval.
Upon introduction, the GEC was met with mixed reviews following misinterpretation that it offered an exit point for learners after Grade 9.
Following the confusion, the department clarified that the GEC is not an exit point but instead offers learners different education and training pathways between schools and colleges at a level below Grade 12.
Decolonising the curriculum
On the decolonisation of the curriculum, Motshekga highlighted progress on the restructuring of the history curriculum and the introduction of KiSwahili as a second additional language.
On the restructuring of History for grades 4-12, the DBE said it anticipates to complete this process in 2023.
In 2019, the Ministerial Task Team developed a framework that would guide the curriculum development process, and embarked on a consultation process with History curriculum specialists, to identify new content, topics and concepts.
With plans afoot to introduce KiSwahili as the second additional language in the country’s schools, the DBE says it has developed the Kiswahili Toolkit for grades 4-9.
At least 90 schools will offer KiSwahili as a Second Additional Language (SAL) in grades 4-12.