The Basic Education Department is at pains to clarify that its proposed General Education Certificate (GEC) for Grade 9 learners does not mean the end of their education.

This comes after Minister Angie Motshekga announced that plans were afoot to formalise Grade 9 as a second exit point of schooling. She said this would reduce the rate of failure, repetition and drop-outs.

The department has now issued a statement saying the aim of the plan is to send more learners into technical education institutions.

Elijah Mhlanga, the department’s spokesperson says, “I think the word exit got a lot of people confused. It didn’t mean it’s the end of schooling. You still need to proceed and do other things and get Grade 12 in a technical school somewhere whatever it would be called but you need to have gone to a training institution which would give you skills that you can use whether it’s plumbing, electrical, mechanical or whatever it is.”

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