South Africa’s Three-Stream Model for Holistic Education

In the rapidly evolving global landscape, education is no longer just about textbook knowledge. Skills such as socio-emotional aptitude, workplace readiness, technical expertise, and entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly crucial. The South African Department of Basic Education (DBE) recognizes this, and it is making strides to meet these demands through the development of the Three-Stream Model.

Pioneering a Diverse Educational Approach

The Three-Stream Model’s strategic objective is to improve the accessibility, quality, and diversity of education. This is achieved by increasing learner access to Technical, Vocational and Skills (TVS) subjects and schools. Over the 2019-2024 term, the expansion of curriculum options, including technical, agricultural, and vocational skills subjects, and schools of skills, will foster these essential skills and competencies.

Introducing the Occupational and Vocationally Oriented Curriculum

At the heart of the Three-Stream Model is the occupational and vocationally oriented curriculum. This curriculum aligns with vocational and occupational fields of study, ensuring that learners are equipped with skills directly relevant to the world of work.

This occupational curriculum was piloted in Schools of Skills in 2017, with a four-year trial period set to conclude in 2020. The success of this pilot will lead to the full implementation of occupational subjects in Schools of Skills starting from 2021. Furthermore, selected ordinary schools with the capacity to offer the services and technical subjects will pilot the vocationally oriented subjects in Grade 8 from 2021 and extend to Grade 9 in 2022.

Aiming for Effectiveness Through Pilot Projects

The rationale behind piloting the draft curriculum is to ensure its effectiveness before broad implementation. This measured approach allows for the identification of successful elements of the curriculum and areas that need strengthening, ensuring that the final curriculum is robust and fit for purpose.

Learners participating in this programme will eventually be awarded a General Education Certificate (GEC) qualification, providing they meet the minimum requirements set out in the GEC Policy framework. This qualification is aimed at supporting learners to articulate into the different pathways in the Further Education and Training phase.

Shaping the Future Through Holistic Education

Through the implementation of the Three-Stream Model, the DBE is nurturing a holistic approach to education, one that equips learners with a diverse set of skills vital for the contemporary world. This model provides learners with the opportunities they need to develop not only academically, but also personally and professionally, enabling them to thrive in whatever career path they choose.

By taking a progressive approach and adapting to the demands of the modern world, the DBE is ensuring that South Africa’s youth are prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It’s an investment in the country’s future, one that is set to yield invaluable dividends in the form of skilled, versatile, and well-rounded future generations.