Tag Archive for: Department of Basic Education

The Department of Basic Education has scrapped final examinations for Grade 10 and 11 learners and will instead replace them with controlled tests.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga told the SABC that the decision was made as a once-off measure, due to teaching time lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a once-off measure that we have put in place after we looked at everything that affected schooling this year and we felt it would not be fair to have a full-scale examination when schools were closed and reopened. With the trimmed curriculum we realised that we are not going to finish the syllabus,” he said.

“Grade 10 and 11 (students) learn the same thing, it is just the degree of difficulty of what they are learning. It is basically something that is not really new to them. So what we are going to do is create more time next year to ensure that all the work that was not covered is covered then.”

The weighting for the exams been reduced from 75% to 40%, while the weighting for the school-based assessment (SBA) has been increased from 25% to 60%.

A circular sent to schools and teachers presented the changed promotional requirements for Grade 10 and 11 in more detail.

On the test, the circular stated that grade 10 papers will be an hour-long, with grade 11 papers two hours long. According to the circular, controlled tests should be set only on content taught.

The controlled test must cover a substantial portion of the curriculum taught, preferably work covered in all terms, wherever possible.

The test, it said, must be administered under controlled conditions. The document said that fundamental subjects like languages, maths and maths literacy will offer the required number of papers with a reduced duration.

“All elective subjects to reduce the number of papers to one test per subject,” the department said.

Later start dates

Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga says to ensure that matriculants are not compromised by the late release of the Grade 12 results, Universities South Africa has agreed to extend the academic year to the end of February 2021.

Universities are expected to start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year. This, Motshekga said, will ensure that students will still be able to get admitted to institutions of higher learning on time.

The Minister said this when ministers in the Social Services Cluster responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“On 24 August this year, our Director-General (Mathanzima) Mweli met with Universities South Africa, which is the body that regulates admissions to higher education institutions, and they indicated that universities will be extending the 2020 academic year to the end of February next year.

“So while the opening of universities is not universal, we are certain that when we issue (matric) results on 23 February next year, we will not be disadvantaging learners because most universities will start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year,” she said.

This comes after the department announced last month that the 2020 Grade 12 examinations would be completed by 15 December, with marking being concluded on 22 January and the results released on 23 February 2021.

The new school year will commence on 25 January 2021 for teachers and learners a few days later.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has published a new directive which outlines the new return dates for South African schools.

The directive, which was gazetted on Tuesday (7 July), further splits the return of pupils with some students now set to return as late at 31 August.

These new dates are detailed in the table below.

The directive also makes provision for provinces which are unable to comply with the new start dates.

In these cases, the DBE said that if a MEC responsible for education in a province must, at least seven days before the date identified for the return of the respective grades, submit a report to the Minister for concurrence or further determination.

The report must include:The reasons for the non-compliance; and
A plan with the proposed dates for the phased return of learners and officials in the respective grades. You can read the full directive by clicking here.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

The South African government has published its Draft National Youth policy for 2020 – 2030, outlining its plans to get more young South Africans into education and employment opportunities over the next 10 years.

The document states that youth unemployment has reached ‘crisis proportions’ in South Africa and remains one of the major challenges facing the country today.

“South Africa’s unemployment rate is high for both youth and adults; though, the unemployment rate among the youth currently stands at an alarming 56.4% and is considered to be one of the highest globally,” it said.

“Against this background, it is clear that the major contributor to poverty, inequality, and unemployment amongst the youth in South Africa is the low level of educational attainment and skills.

“The latest national data from Stats SA (2018) shows that of the 10.3 million persons aged 15-24 years, 32.4% (approximately 3.3 million) were not in employment, education or training, with females constituting 35.3% and males 29.6%.”

Other statistics that point to a failure in the education system include:

  • About 52% of 24-year-olds in the country have completed Grade 12, compared to 70% in most developing countries;
  • A million young people exit the schooling system annually, of whom 65% leave without achieving a Grade 12 certificate;
  • Half of those who exit the schooling system do so after Grade 11, either because they do not enroll in Grade 12 or they fail Grade 11.

Plans to fix the problem

To address the issues in South Africa’s education sector, the policy document outlines a number of proposals which should be introduced by 2030.

Below, BusinessTech outlined the proposals for each sector.


  • The Department of Basic Education, in partnership with private providers, should support learners who need a ‘second chance’ to pass matric. The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology should also provide young people who have left school with the opportunity to complete their education to enable them to compete in the open labor market;
  • All schools should be encouraged to have an anti-racism policy that supports small freedoms such as allowing African children to wear natural Afros to schools;
  • All South African learners must learn an indigenous language. Sign language should also be progressively introduced in all schools;
  • Basic computer literacy should be included in the school curriculum;
  • Practical subjects such as entrepreneurship, technical skills and handwork (art) need to be introduced to the curriculum help those who are not inclined to proceed to higher education;
  • Schools in rural areas should be able to use local farming land for practical or experiential learning in agriculture. Local farmers can mentor learners;
  • Existing incentives to attract young people to the teaching profession should continue until at least 2020. This means that teacher salaries should be competitive.


  • The number of TVET colleges should be expanded to increase the participation rate to 25% and the graduation rate 75% by 2030;
  • Government should introduce a new community college framework designed for youth who did not complete their schooling or who never attended school and thus do not qualify to study at TVET colleges or universities. This will offer tailor-made qualifications to meet the needs of the youth;
  • The government should progressively introduce free education for poor learners until undergraduate level and increase the funding options available to support students at the post-secondary level who are academically successful but unable to complete their study programs due to financial hardships;
  • All higher education institutions (colleges, universities) must introduce foundation programs for learners in transition from the basic to higher education learning environment. These foundation courses should include soft skills development to help students cope with university demands;
  • All government departments including municipalities should have internship programs, which should be monitored in terms of numbers and quality;
  • Every qualification at university should be coupled with an experiential component to ensure graduates have experience when they qualify;
  • The BRICS virtual university must be established to facilitate the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for educational purposes and promote access to education, particularly for females;
  • Based on feasibility studies, agricultural colleges and schools of excellence must be established in each province and agriculture faculties must be introduced and/or strengthened in universities and TVET colleges.

To view the full policy, click here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South Africa’s grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate has increased from 78.2% in 2018 to 81.3% for the class of 2019, which is the highest it’s been in 25 years. The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric class of 2019 achieved a pass rate of 98.82% – slightly down from the 98.92% registered in 2018.

Department of Basic Education (DBE) Minister Angie Motshekga announced the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam outcome on Tuesday evening in Midrand.

Motshekga said the top performing province was the Free State at 88.4%, followed by Gauteng with 87.2%, North West (86.8%), Western Cape (82.3%). KwaZulu-Natal (81.3%), Mpumalanga (80.3%), Eastern Cape and Northern Cape (both 76.5%) and Limpopo (73.2%).

A total of 790,405 candidates wrote the 2019 examinations at 7,416 examination centers during October and November last year. The department also conducted examinations for 212 pupils at correctional facilities. “It is really a very large system, we had 147 question papers. There were 7.6-million scripts that were distributed to the examination centers,” said Motshekga.

The number of candidates achieving admission to Bachelor’s Degree programs increased from 172,043 in 2018 to 186,058.

However, Nomsa Marches, DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education, said that a total of 1 052 080 learners were enrolled in grade 10, yet only 409 906 learners eventually passed matric last year. Therefore, the pass rate does not reflect the quality of the education system in South Africa, as more than half of learners are dropping out before getting to grade 12.

The Western Cape is the province with the lowest drop-out rate (33.4%) and therefore the highest real pass rate, standing at 54.8%. The Free State’s real pass rate only stands at 38.4%.

“Every child has the right to quality basic education”, Marches said.

You can view the results on the DBE’s website here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].