General Education Certificate gives students the liberty to leave from Grade 9 and choose to enrol into institutions that provide vocational, technical, and occupational skills. South African students will have the opportunity to choose between attending a regular high school and attending a vocational college. The General Education Certificate will allow students to apply for positions in these vocational training schools instead of universities.
Students enrolled in such schools will be the equivalent of Grade 10 students. However, they will be skilled in areas such as welding, construction, agriculture, sport, aviation, etc. Here, students will focus on one of these aspects and become experts by the end of their training. While some professionals see the General Education Certificate as a way out, others are worried that it may not be as rosy as it sounds.
In this article, we will discuss the importance, advantages, and disadvantages of the General Education Certificate.
What do you require to have a General Certificate of Education?
- Only Grade 9 students are eligible to have a General Education Certificate. They will receive it at the end of their Grade 9 school year.
Will General Education Certificate cause a change?
Yes, it will. As with any other new idea, it will come with cons and pros affecting different sections of society and the educational system.
Is the General Education Certificate important?
Again, yes, it is. Here are some reasons why it is important.
- It offers students a host of opportunities to follow their passion while gaining modern-day skills.
- General Education Certificate will cause TVET colleges to become more significant. The rise in the number of TVET colleges may push older colleges to better equip their faculties to keep up with the competition. This is advantageous for the students.
- Additionally, there may be fewer strikes from students in TVET colleges leading to a reduction in the number of absent hours.
What are the advantages of a General Education Certificate?
- Students will get a certificate to apply to colleges at the end of Grade 9 instead of waiting for Grade 12.
- It will enable students to follow their true passion at an early age and give them room to perfect it.
- Technical and vocational schools in South Africa will increase in number when this gets implemented. More of them will pop up to cater to the needs of the students who wish to enroll in their institutions.
- Students in Grade 9 will have new subjects that are more practical than theoretical in their curriculum.
- Companies can integrate graduates from these schools because they are sure they have both theoretical and standard practical knowledge.
- Students may have more openings for internship and apprenticeship opportunities once the program is implemented.
- The General Education Certificate can reduce the number of students who drop out of school. The reason being they can look forward to having careers sooner than their peers in regular school.
- Some professionals are excited about this because it will take out unnecessary subjects and replace them with profitable skills.
- The General Education Certificate will assist in evaluating the skill level of students leaving Grade 9.
What are the disadvantages of a General Education Certificate?
While the General Education Certificate has multiple pros, it also has multiple cons in store. Here is a list of those disadvantages.
- The General Education Certificate only allows students to apply to colleges. Therefore, students who want to go to the university must complete Grade 12 and get a National Senior Certificate.
- Some TVET colleges have an inefficient administration that seldom meets the students’ needs.
- Students who graduate with a National Senior Certificate have proven to be more emotionally mature and capable of critical thinking. While those who enter the professional sector after Grade 9 still have a lot of growing up to do.
- Some authorities fear that students who get the General Certificate of Education may be unwilling to further their studies. It is a grave problem because they will not improve on their craft and will stick with outdated techniques.
- Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions are notorious for having inadequate equipment and facilities that are not up to standard.
Summarily, introducing the General Education Certificate is part of the government’s plan to improve the number of skilled individuals in society. Students often go to school for many years to get an elaborate degree. However, they graduate without having a skill that is profitable in today’s changing world.
They end up facing difficulties in the real world when they realize that robots have taken their jobs. Even worse, some find it hard to pick up new skills later in life. The General Education Certificate provides light at the end of the tunnel. Although it has its shortcomings, it is a good option for society to embrace.