Tag Archive for: South African Education System

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].

Early Grade Reading Programme

Government is implementing an Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa aims to mobilise the entire nation behind a massive reading campaign, and wants every 10 year old to be able to read for meaning within the next decade.

Speaking in his recent State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said that early reading ‘is the basic foundation that determines a child’s educational progress, through school, through higher education and into the workplace’.

“All other interventions – from the work being done to improve the quality of basic education to the provision of free higher education for the poor, from our investment in TVET colleges to the expansion of workplace learning – will not produce the results we need unless we first ensure that children can read,” he said.

As part of this push, Ramaphosa said that all foundation and intermediate phase teachers are to be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages.

He added that government is currently training and deploying a cohort of experienced coaches to provide high-quality on-site support to teachers.

“We are also implementing the Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers,” he said.

“This forms part of the broader efforts to strengthen the basic education system by empowering school leadership teams, improving the capabilities of teachers and ensuring a more consistent measurement of progress for grades three, six and nine.”

New subjects

As part of plans to future-proof the economy, Ramaphosa also pledged to introduce a number of technology-focused subjects to the curriculum,

“We have to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future,” he said. “This is why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics at a primary school level.”

In April 2019, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said it had trained 43,774 teachers in computer skills and would shortly begin training teachers for the new coding curricula.

Basic Education Angie Motshekga said that these teachers will be trained on coding from June to September 2019.

Coding as a subject will be piloted at 1,000 schools across five provinces starting in the 2020 school year.

The minister said that the DBE will also be introducing a robotics curriculum from Grade R-9.

The curriculum will have a strong foundation in engineering and will enable learners to build and operate robots through programming code, she said.

“This robotics curriculum will not require any infrastructure or devices, but will need maker spaces to provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent; e.g., through cardboard construction activities,” she said.

“This will not only develop STEM skills, but also contribute to effectively developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking, and digital skills.

“This will ensure that South Africa develops learners who are makers and inventors who will contribute to building an innovative culture in South Africa,” she said.


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

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

The application and placement process for the 2020 academic year for Grades 1 and 8 in Gauteng public schools went live on Monday (20 May).

The Admissions Online Application System was introduced to make it easy and convenient for parents to submit applications rather than queue at a school.

It has also provided accurate information to the Department of Education for planning purposes, such as the allocation of resources including educators, classrooms, learning and teaching study materials.

The department assured that the online process has improved and now has the capacity to accommodate 50,000 simultaneous users.

Parents or applicants with children in Grade R in the current school as well as for Grade 8 in Schools of Focused Learning or Schools of Specialization should also be made online.

When applying online, parents have a choice to submit a maximum of five applications using the following options:

  • Home Address closest to school within feeder-zone;
  • Sibling at the school;
  • Work address within feeder-zone;
  • Home Address within 30 km;
  • Home address is beyond 30 km of the school.

First come, first serve

The rankings are subject to the availability of space in the school and will be conducted on a first come, first serve basis and on the following prioritization.

  • The department has advised parents to understand that living closer to the school does not entitle a person to automatic admission.
  • The system will show all schools and applicant/parent will choose the relevant school and reference number WA6 will be generated.
  • Once the application is completed online, the applicant or parent will receive an SMS notification with the relevant reference number.

For this reason, applicants and parents are urged to use their own valid cell phone number or email address, the department said.

All communication with the parent regarding username, password and waiting list reference number will be conducted through the supplied cell phone number or email address.

Parents are urged to store the login details and reference number in a safe place.

Applicants and parents should then submit the following documents to the school within seven working days:

  • Certified copy of identity document (ID) of the parent/legal guardian or a sworn affidavit in case a parent/legal guardian does not have an ID;
  • Non-South African citizens should submit a certified copy of their passport, valid Visa or Temporary/Permanent residence Permit/ Asylum Seeker or Refugee Permit;
  • Proof of home address;
  • Certified copy of child’s birth certificate. Unabridged birth certificates are not required;
  • Clinic Immunization Card if applying for grade 1. Non-South Africans are also required to submit proof of immunization;
  • Current school academic report and transfer if applying for Grade 8;
  • Proof of a sibling relationship where sibling option is used.

Upon submission of documents, parents must sign a register to indicate that documents were submitted and receive a confirmation of submission of documents receipt.

Placement of learners by the department will take place between 27 August – and 20 September 2019.

Parents/applicants will receive SMS notification of a successful and unsuccessful application to the school.

They have an obligation to accept or reject the placement offer within seven days. Failure to accept this within the given period will result in the offer being forfeited and it will be given to the next person on the queue.

To visit the online application website, click here.


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

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