The Purpose of DBE General Education Certificate (GEC) for Grade 9
The General Education Certificate, a new high school diploma, is being implemented by the Department of Basic Education for students in grade 9. (GEC).
The department initially issued the certificate to 270 schools across the country last year, but the full rollout has been pushed back to 2025.
Angie Motshekga, South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, said at a press conference on Sunday that the pilot program will be expanded to 1,000 schools, including schools of skill, in 2023.
There will be enough participating schools to cover all 75 school districts, and expansion beyond that is scheduled for 2024. Grade 9 GEC participation is mandatory for all schools.
The minister went on to say that the department will get “further learnings” from the extended pilot period about how to raise the quality of the assessment tools used for the certificate, how to better integrate these tools into school-based assessments, and how to make a complete GEC report card for students.
The goal of the GEC is to better prepare students for higher education and the workforce by giving them more chances to demonstrate their skills in inquiry-based learning, problem-solving, and the design of practical solutions.
The agency has also stressed that this is not an option for students to drop out of school. Instead, the certificate will aid students in making more informed choices, particularly for those who are considering shifting their focus from a traditional academic degree to one in the technical arts.
The GEC’s approach to testing departs from the norm in order to better understand students’ abilities.
These project-based evaluations will be used in a wide variety of courses to gauge students’ ability to apply knowledge from multiple disciplines to a common problem.
The GEC and inclinations assessment, which probes students’ prior knowledge, character traits, and preferences in relation to potential future occupations, will be the vehicle through which the new assessment model is introduced.