We received communication about a vocational learning program on the horizon from the Department of Basic Education. This makes us optimistic and confident that energy and resources are being targeted in the right direction with regards to formal schooling qualifications for People With a Disability (particularly People with an Intellectual Disability). Good news indeed.
Vocational Learning Programme On The Horizon – Department of Basic Education
The Department of Basic Education has gathered together education experts to develop a skills and vocational learning program for schools.
The general aim of the learning program is to enable learners who struggle to attain the academic targets set in the National Curriculum Statement, Gr R – 9 (including learners with intellectual disability) to realize their full potential in spite of the barriers that they experience.
The Department also recognizes that it is critical to introduce a skills and vocational track at an earlier point in the learner’s school career, so as to prepare learners better for the requirements of the world of work, to reduce the significant drop-out rate and ultimately to reduce youth unemployment. Learners who complete this qualification at about the age of 18 should be able to progress either onto the National Certificate Vocational (NCV), the Trades and Occupations or directly into employment.
Addressing officials before the session got underway, Mr. Suren Govender, Chief Director: Curriculum Implementation and Monitoring at the DBE, hailed the process as a historic moment in South Africa’s quest to provide quality education to all learners.
“Currently our education system is geared towards academics, and there is an assumption that every learner will go on to enter tertiary education,” said Mr. Govender. “However large numbers of learners either don’t complete Grade 12 or simply do not pursue further studies once they have finished formal schooling. This process seeks to address this challenge.”