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THE SA SCHOOL SYSTEM

Posted on Tuesday, 10th Mar 2015

The future and prosperity of any country relies on the education system to instil a knowledgeable mind set amongst the youth and encourage confidence in their skills and gifting. For the past 20 years South Africa has been working towards maintaining international teaching standards and truly compete in global economic markets. With 11 official languages it can be difficult to provide a concise learning experience for all, but generally schools and universities are taught in either English or Afrikaans.

Schooling is compulsory through to Grade 9.  Under the National Qualifications Framework students may choose upon the  successful completion of Grade 9 to obtain their General Education and Training Certificate and to pursue employment or technical training at Further Education and Training institutions. Those continuing into senior secondary school from Grades 10-12 sit the national matriculation examinations, or an approved alternative such as the Independent Examinations Board test series, to obtain the National Senior Certificate (NSC) at the end of Grade 12.

From Grade 10, senior secondary students must take 7 subjects, 4 of which must be English, a second South African language, Life Orientation, and either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy. The remaining 3 courses are selected from 27 options which range from Accounting, Art, Business Economics and Computer Technology to Tourism and Woodwork. Courses in Physical Science or Life Science are optional, as are the social sciences of History, Economics and Geography. Students who wish to pursue university studies, however, are required to study rigorous Mathematics and Physical Science, or Life Science.

South Africa’s higher education system consists of 23 publicly funded universities, consolidated down to 36 separate institutions since 1994. Some of these are considered comprehensive and others are universities of technology. Both types of institutions offer Bachelor’s, Honour’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas.

Several of South Africa’s comprehensive universities are internationally recognized for their research in areas such as astronomy, business, palaeontology, medicine and public policy in Africa, as well as the high calibre of student results. The Higher Education Act of 1997 stipulates that all higher education institutions come under the authority of the National Government, whilst the FET colleges report to the Provincial Governments.

Posted in Jewels of Southern Africa

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