Major subject changes for schools and colleges in South Africa

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation has set up entrepreneurship hubs at Colleges of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to support students to go on to self-employment after completing programs.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, revealed this Thursday in Parliament in delivering the department’s 2022 budget vote.

This is part of the government’s overall strategy to train young South Africans and develop skills in areas needed by the economy. The strategy ranges from primary education to tertiary learning.

In primary education, a number of new subjects have been added to the school curriculum over the last five years to meet this strategy, with technical topics such as robotics and coding expected to be added in the coming year.

Some new topics include:

  • Art and design
  • Agricultural studies
  • Additional health care
  • Aquaponics
  • Aviation studies
  • Civil technology
  • Consumer Studies 8. Digital technology
  • Early childhood development
  • Electrical technology
  • Hospitality studies
  • Maritime sciences
  • Maintenance and upholstery
  • Mechanical technology
  • Personal care
  • Technical mathematics
  • Technical sciences
  • Wholesale and retail

In addition, the department is seeking a new introduction General Education Certificate (GEC)which will be piloted by selected schools in 2022, with plans to roll out the certificate to all schools in the country by the 2024 school year.

The GEC is intended to give students recognition of their achievements at the end of Grade 9 so that they can move on to vocational training. The Department of Primary Education has emphasized that it is not a school diploma, but a certificate for further education.

Minister of Higher Education Nzimande on Thursday (May 12) outlined how the government’s career strategy will continue in the tertiary education sector.

Vocational training

In the current fiscal year, the minister said the department projected that the skills tax would increase to R20.6 billion from last year R18.9 billion.

Nzimande said the department had also made the decision to prioritize the sector by reallocating additional funds from the National Skills Fund.

“We have started a process of creating one country, one skills plan – a Master Skills Plan. This process will promote a more efficient and effective mechanism for our national skills planning.

As part of my Service Level Agreement with the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), they will include government priorities – particularly those addressing the threefold challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality as set out in the National Development Plan – in their Sector Skills Plans . ”

These would therefore develop their annual performance plans (APPs) to address skills challenges in various sectors of the economy and country in general.

Both university and TVET colleges are being tested and strengthened to be relevant to the skills needed by local employers, communities and the economy.

The Minister said that SETA’s qualifying applications for trade tests will be processed within 40 days of receipt for trade tests and develop credible Sector Skills Plans. SETAs would report on the implementation of the Skills Strategy in this regard.

“To further ensure the rapid skills and training of our youth, especially those in rural and rural areas, we will focus our attention on their training in areas such as agriculture and information and communication technologies,” he said.

“Our SETAs will support my Science and Innovation (DSI) department in the development of critical high-quality skills in selected technology areas such as the bioeconomy, space science, technology energy, intellectual property management.”

In fiscal year 2022/23, the ministry will increase its work-based learning programs from 78,317 to 107,000.

“We will also increase our students enrolled in skills development programs from 43,885 in 2020/21 to 148,000 in 2022/23 and increase our students who enter craft programs from 10,302 in 2020/21 to 22,000 in 2022/23.”

The ministry expects 20,500 students to pass the craft trade test in 2022/23, an increase of 5,000 from the last fiscal year.

Students who complete internships will also increase from 24,136 in 2020/21 to 31,300 in this fiscal year, while students who complete internships will stabilize at 5,200.

The SETAs together placed 44,619 unemployed in teaching positions, of which more than 34,710 were young people under 35. More than 25,550 of them were female.

In the previous fiscal year, SETAs placed 9,901 interns, including 9,096 young people under the age of 35 and 6,455 women. The SETAs have spent just over R883 million in this regard.

For TVET placement, SETAs placed about 8,539 students, of whom 5,656 are women, for a total cost of R393 million.

For university placement, SETAs placed 5,183 students in workplaces worth R300 million.

To read: The university degrees and subjects to study to become a millionaire in South Africa

Major subject changes for schools and colleges in South Africa

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