Diversifying school

The Department of Basic Education (DBE)

is diversifying the current school curriculum to broaden the employment horizons of learners once they have completed their schooling.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga spoke to

PSM about the importance of giving learners options with regard to subject offerings

and touched on a number of other developments in the basic education sector.

She said some learners are not academically orientated, while others are high fl yers who want to specialise in specific subjects.

“It is important to give all of them a variety of options so that they can fl ourish at school,” she said.

The Minister stressed the department strives to open pathways for learners to realise their full potential.

In recent years, the department has introduced new subjects that were previously not offered at schools.

These include engineering and technical and vocational subjects.

Maritime science curriculum Government has been working with the Two Oceans Aquarium

to develop a maritime science curriculum to complement the maritime programmes already offered by coastal schools.

The draft curriculum was submit ted to Umalusi – the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training – for evaluation in March 2018.

Its courses include topics in marine biology, oceanography, environmental sustainability and human interactions with the ocean.

“There are 11 schools along the coast which offer maritime programmes.

Most of these schools offer maritime economics, so this will hugely supplement their offerings,” the Minister said.

Other exciting new subjects that the department is working on introducing in schools are aviation studies, nuclear technology and coding.

Coding is essentially written instructions that a robot or computer programme can read and then execute.

“Coding is unique in the way it brings all diverse skills together and this is one of the big advantages of teaching learners to code,

as learning to program requires computational thinking skills,” she said.

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