January 19, 2021

VOICES | Grade 9 Certificate a viable option

By Solam Yves Ludidi

There has been a lot of debate lately, about the proposed new school exit certificate in Grade 9. Certain people are convinced that the certificate, could encourage pupils to drop out of school after getting it. I believe that only the ambitionless scholars would do such a thing.

I have a child in Grade 9 who dreams of becoming a doctor. My girl thinks highly of the medical profession, but she is not up to it with maths and science. I know for a fact that she would succeed as an artist or hairdresser because she excels at doing those things.

The general certificate would help those who are skilled at doing things practically.

Thapelo Ngozo, a teacher by profession from Van Stadensrus in the Free State, is of the view: “Some pupils are geared to using their hands.” This statement rings true, simply because not everyone has the ability to become a statesman, philosopher or historian for example. These are professions that are meant for pupils who excel academically. 
Therefore, the general certificate would help those who are skilled at doing things practically. 
According to the Expatica (an international media company), the problem lies in the state rather than private schools. “The state school system is behind the times. Still, carries some of the legacies of apartheid. And suffers from what Motshekga describes as ‘teachers who were not trained for the future.'”
I fully support the proposed implementation of the Grade 9 exit certificate, which was recently announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. But the government needs to introduce a practically orientated curriculum at the grass-root level. 
For example, pupils from Grade R upwards who like cooking could become chefs, the ones interested in woodwork could become carpenters, so as buddies who like fixing our electricity – could as well come up with solutions to our load-shedding problems!
So, the scholarly achievement is not only about theory but is also based on knowing one’s potentialities. All in all, thumbs up for initiatives that uplift the South African nation. We must give credit to where it is due.

(Main photo by AllAfrica)

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