Johannesburg 12 March 2018

SECTION27 does not support the proposed amendments  to the promotion requirements for the Senior Phase (Grades 7-9) and which are encapsulated under Reg 6(3) of the Regulations pertaining to the National Curriculum Statement Grades R – 12, promulgated as Government Notice 111 in Government Gazette No. 36041 of 28 December 2012.

Our positon is that these proposed changes have the potential to lower the quality of education in South Africa by lowering the pass mark for promotion to the next grade.  We note that promotion should be based on  the acquisition of knowledge skills that are necessary for learners to progress and thrive within South African Society. We further argue that these proposed changes are not in accordance with South Africa’s obligations under international law and in terms of Section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution which guarantees every learner the right to a quality education. Further to this the World Declaration on Education for All which was adopted in 1990 emphasises the acquisition of basic learning tools necessary for an individual to realise his or her full potential.

In the Constitutional Court case of Governing Body of the Juma Musjid Primary

School and Another v Ahmed Asruff Essay NO and Others (Juma Musjid), the Court, quoting from General Comment 13 to the ICESCR also discussed the purpose for the entrenchment of the right to basic education.

“Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realising other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities.

If the proposed amendments are approved it is our view that learners may be ill-equipped  for the Higher Education system but also  as productive member of South African society as they will not possess the necessary skills and knowledge needed for the job market..

The National Develop Plan recognises the importance of improving the quality of education in South Africa, particularly for African learners attending historically disadvantaged schools. Education law and policy should therefore be focussed on developing strategies for improving educational outcomes to ensure that learners achieve the necessary skills that will enable them to pursue opportunities in higher education and acquire decent jobs that enable them to live to their full potential. It should not be seeking to lower the bar.

SECTION27 therefore recommends that the amendments to lower the requirements for promotion of learners in the Senior Phase be withdrawn.

You can find the submission here SECTION27 SUBMISSION TO PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE NATIONAL CURRICULLUM STATEMENT 12 MARCH 2018