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The Democratic Alliance (DA) rejects the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) plan to formalise Grade 9 as one of the exit points of schooling. Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday evening revealed that the DBE will introduce a Grade 9 leaving certificate called the General Education and Training Certificate and that a draft framework for this certificate had been developed. She was speaking at the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union  (SADTU) 9th National Congress.

This disastrous plan by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration will further disadvantage the poor and the future of the country. The plan is akin to dusting off Hendrik Verwoerd’s education policy, which prescribed that black youth should only receive the kind of education that prepared them for low-skilled and low-paying jobs.

The ANC government is not serious about education and this move will only condemn young people to become labourers instead of drivers of innovation and economic development. It will create yet another generation of young people who are unskilled and ill-equipped to enter the jobs market. Instead of forcing young people into an endless cycle of unemployment and poverty, the DA believes that government must first improve the syllabuses at basic education and TVET institutions to ensure that they offer 21st-century training for our young people.

We have written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Bongiwe Pricilla Mbinqo-Gigaba, to request that Minister Motshekga and her department brief Parliament on the full details of this proposed plan. It is outrageous that Parliament’s Basic Education Committee was not consulted or informed about this decision and the DA is of the view that the Minister and her department must be hauled before Parliament to provide the public with the full details of the draft framework.

We need to know what exactly this plan entails and how it will differ from the current education system that has failed to equip young people with the skills they need to find employment. We want to know what the Grade 9 certificates will mean to these young people – especially given the fact that even matric certificate holders as well as some university graduates’ qualifications are gathering dust. And we also want to know what plans the Department has in place to assist Grade 9 school leavers in upskilling themselves to enter the jobs market.

Youth aged 15–24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market as the unemployment rate among this age group stands at more than 55%. Nothing is more important for our children’s future – and the future of our country – than having a good quality basic education system. It is the key building block on the pathway to a good job.

For the last 25 years, the ANC government has continuously demonstrated a criminal lack of vision and lack of solutions when it comes to the numerous challenges facing education. In the DA-led Western Cape more learners stay in school until matric than in any other province. Learners should receive a quality education that stands them in good stead to improve the quality of their lives, and their communities.

South Africa and the youth cannot be shortchanged by politicians who have no vision. The DA stands ready to fight any plan that will further dilute the quality of education.

The post The ‘Grade 9 exit plan’ will make youth unskilled and unemployable, not drivers of innovation appeared first on Democratic Alliance.

Source of original article: Democratic Alliance (
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