One of things South Africa has always been criticized for is the rising school dropout rates. Many believe that the reason behind the country’s high figures is that the education system is subjecting learners to teaching methods and subjects that have set them up for failure.
In an attempt to address the high dropout rate in South African schools, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) says it plans to introduce and implement as many as 38 new subjects into the schooling curriculum for Grades 10 to 12 as part of its new three stream curriculum.
The subjects will include academic, vocational, and occupational subjects as a measure to improve learners’ chances of getting employment after matric.
In an interview, discussing the upcoming changes Chief Director of Maths, Science and Technology at the DBE, Seliki Tlhabane says the department has developed 26 new subjects in the occupational stream and 12 new subjects in the vocational stream.
It is the responsibility of every education system across the world to prepare its citizens for the world of work.
He explains that the department has developed a three-stream model to give learners the opportunity to select pathways that will give them a better chance of getting employment after matric and at the same time, enhance their economic participation.
Tlhabane says that the key aspect of the occupational stream is work-based experience, where learners in this stream will be attached to a place of work where they will be supervised by professionals and acquire the real world of work experience.
He adds that society has the wrong perception that the occupational and vocational programmes are of lower standard in comparison to the academic.
It is about taking children’s abilities and creating pathways that are going to support them and help them enter the job market.
The department says the added subjects will be based on learner interests, their aptitudes, and skills as well as their inclination to follow a certain stream. The new curriculum model is set to be fully implemented by 2025.