Grade 9 may soon be an exit point for schooling as the Department of Basic Education works on introducing a general education certificate.
During her address at the South African Democratic Teachers' Union congress at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Thursday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said a draft framework for this certificate had been developed.
"Assessment and examination modalities for the general education certificate are being investigated and have been presented at the head of education committee meeting," she added.
The department was also working on the introduction of multiple qualifications, such as the general education certificate before the Grade 12 exit qualification.
This as it prioritises "dealing decisively with the quality and efficiency through the implementation of standardised assessments to reduce failure, repetition and dropout rates".
"We plan to launch a systemic evaluation that will be conducted in strategic grades by finalising preparations and technical standards for the administration of systemic evaluation to enable high level national and provincial monitoring," Motshekga said.
"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."
Motshekga said 11 focus areas have been identified for the 2019 to 2024 medium-term strategic framework.
These include the decolonisation of basic education through the teaching and promotion of African languages, South African and African history and national symbols as well eliminating the digital divide by ensuring that within six years, all schools and education offices have access to internet and free data.
- Compiled by Tammy Petersen