'Generation of unskilled and ill-equipped youth' will come from Grade 9 certificate - DA

accreditation
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

The introduction of a General Education Certificate (GEC) in grade 9 will create another generation of young people who are unskilled and ill-equipped to enter the jobs market, the Democratic Alliance says. 

In an address to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) on Thursday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga outlined plans for the certificate and the introduction of other qualifications. 

"The first cycle of systemic evaluations in grades 3, 6 and 9 will be finalised by June 2020. The field trial for the general education certificate at the end of Grade 9 is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2020," she said at Sadtu's national congress at Nasrec, near Soweto. 

The opposition party, however, believes the plan by the department is "disastrous" and will further disadvantage the poor and the future of South Africa. 

"The plan is akin to dusting off Hendrik Verwoerd's education policy, which prescribed that black youth should only receive the kind of education that prepared them for low-skilled and low-paying jobs," DA MP Nomsa Marchesi said. 

Instead of forcing young people into an "endless cycle of unemployment and poverty", the government must first improve the syllabuses at basic education and TVET institutions, to ensure that "21st-century training" is offered for young people, she said.

EXPLAINER: Grade 9 certificate is not an exit from school, says education dept

On Friday, departmental spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the plan to introduce the certificate did not mean pupils could leave school after completing Grade 9.

Mhlanga said the certificate is based on a three-stream mode that includes the academic pathway, the technical vocational pathway and the technical or occupational pathway.

He said the move was aimed at attracting more students towards technical education. 

The DA has written to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Pricilla Mbinqo-Gigaba, to request that Motshekga and the department brief Parliament on the full details of the proposed plan.

"It is outrageous that Parliament's basic education committee was not consulted or informed about this decision and the DA is of the view that the minister and her department must be hauled before Parliament to provide the public with the full details of the draft framework."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should pension fund members be allowed to access their savings before retirement?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's their money to do with as they please.
35% - 1201 votes
No, more people will end up without enough savings in retirement.
37% - 1270 votes
Depends on how big the withdrawal limits will be.
29% - 994 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.39
-0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.98
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.03
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.62
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,812.09
+0.1%
Silver
25.39
-0.5%
Palladium
2,652.89
+0.1%
Platinum
1,027.08
-2.5%
Brent Crude
72.41
-0.7%
Top 40
62,750
+0.3%
All Share
68,898
+0.3%
Resource 10
71,750
+0.8%
Industrial 25
86,237
+0.1%
Financial 15
13,095
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE