Tag Archive for: South African Schools

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].

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].