Building on what works in education, April 2012

  • Vocational education in South Africa is stigmatised due to apartheid’s legacy, but the country has a critical need for technical and artisan skills.
  • There are 153 ‘focus schools’ in South Africa: 110 technical schools and 43 agricultural schools. Ordinary high schools also expose learners to vocationally-oriented education to a slight degree.
  • There is currently not enough subject choice differentiation. Learners cannot choose subject packages that constitute specific vocational fields.
  • While a limited differentiation is provided for in the new curriculum, there is a lack of supporting policy to give meaningful effect to such differentiation in practice.
  • Government should develop a policy framework for making vocationally-oriented education in South Africa a much more attractive option in a more diversified education system.

Photo credit:  Dominik Scythe