Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga has published a new curriculum policy document for public comment which will introduce a number of new subjects at the country’s schools.

Motshekga said that the policy will amend the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) through the introduction of 13 additional subjects for Grade 8 and 9 students.

Many of these subjects are aimed at directly helping school-leaving pupils who will not necessarily complete Grade 12 or enter university.

The proposed subjects cover a wide range of fields including agriculture, art and various technology subjects. Links to the full subject breakdowns are included in the descriptions below.


Agricultural Studies

The subject aims to teach the learner agricultural practices, specifically focusing on:

  • General farming/Tools and equipment/Safety and communication;
  • Plant production and Gardening (Horticulture);
  • Soil and conservation;
  • Animal Production;
  • Business practices / Entrepreneurship / value-adding and processing.

“This subject reflects and need to achieve the skills needed in the agricultural industry, to produce and maintain entrepreneurs/farmers, researchers, workers etc,” the department said.


Ancillary Health Care

Ancillary Health Care Studies is the study of various interrelated themes to enable learners to understand the meaning of health and wellness as well as how to apply their newly acquired knowledge in everyday life.

This will include application in caring for themselves, others in their families and community, as well as in their place of work.

This subject aims to provide an educational experience to enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge to:

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the concepts health and wellness as these relate to our daily lives;
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the causes, prevention and management of ill-health;
  • Recognise that health needs are influenced by the stage of life;
  • Understand the role of ancillary health care in relation to diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of health care;
  • Apply health promotion strategies;
  • Understand lifestyle habits affect health and wellness of the individual and others;
  • Recognise the need and value to apply good waste management practices;
  • Understand the role and functions of employers and employees in the workplace according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Art and Design

“The main purpose of the subject is to develop learners as creative, imaginative individuals who appreciate the arts and who have the basic knowledge and skills to participate in arts activities and to prepare them for possible further study in the art forms of their choice in Further Education and Training (FET),” the department said.

Design is a creative problem-solving process and includes the study of both design practice and design theory, it said.

“The design process involves problem identification, planning, research, innovation, conceptualisation, experimentation and critical reflection.”

As part of the requirements, learners will need to create a minimum of one product per term inclusive of visual literacy (theory), a 2D product that aligns with the visual literacy and will be a build-up process to the final product (3D).


Civil Technology

The aim of the subject Civil Technology is to develop the skills levels of learners from Grades 8 – 9 to such an extent that they will be able to enter a career pathway at a Further Education and Training college or a university immediately after obtaining the National Senior Certificate.

Learners will then be ready to enter into learnerships or apprenticeships that will prepare them for a trade test.

Through the integrated completion of theoretical work and the practical assessment tasks (PAT), skills in respect of the following will be developed:

  • Safe working practices;
  • Good housekeeping;
  • First aid practices;
  • Interpretation of working drawings;
  • Erection of structures;
  • Working with accurate measurements;
  • Workshop practice.

The department said that the Civil Technology will equip the learner with a unique set of skills, placing her or him apart from other learners and in a category much desired by industry, tertiary institutions and entrepreneurs.

“Learners with Civil Technology as a subject fare markedly better during the first two years at tertiary level when studying engineering than learners without this background, giving them an advantage over their peers,” it said.


Consumer Studies

Some of the issues that learners will learn in Grades 8 and 9 Consumer Studies include:

  • Consumer rights and responsibilities;
  • Consumer Protection Policies;
  • Channels for complaints;
  • How to evaluate food outlets, clothing outlets, furniture and appliances;
  • How to evaluate design features of interiors, furniture and appliances;
  • Responsible buying behaviour;
  • Responsible use of resources such as water and electricity;
  • Ways to curb global warming.

Digital Technology

Digital Technology is the use of computers, applications and internet technologies to enable users to communicate, create, store, distribute and manage information as well as to solve real life problems using appropriate tools and techniques.

Topics to be studied in Digital Technology include:

  • System Technologies;
  • Keyboarding – Typing Tutor;
  • Word Processing;
  • Spreadsheets;
  • Digital Citizenship;
  • Computational Thinking;
  • Coding – Block-based coding tools should be used such as Scratch, Micro:Bit or similar.

Early Childhood Development

Under Early Childhood Development (ECD), the learner will be able to do the following:

  • Understand how ECD centres are managed;
  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment;
  • Develop teaching and learning resources;
  • Understand how babies, toddlers and young children develop;
  • Demonstrate how to care for babies, toddlers and young children.

Electrical Technology

Electrical Technology aims to equip the learner with a firm foundation in electrical electronics and digital principles.

It provides a foundation of quality, standardised general education which will suit the needs of the learners and help prepare them for life after school and enable them to access particular employment or occupational workplace-based learning.

Further studies may also enable the learners to access a vocational qualification at a Technical and Vocational Education Training College in conjunction with an internship at the local industry.


Hairdressing, Beauty and Nail Technology

This qualification recognises the basic skills, knowledge and values acquired by learners to operate within the personal care industry.

The aim of the qualification is to develop learners who, after completion, will be skilled efficiently to prepare for entry into the industry.

In Grades 8 and 9 the Personal Care: hairdressing, beauty and nail care technology the learner will study:

  • The personal care industry;
  • Maintaining a clean, safe and sanitised working environment;
  • Professional conduct;
  • Communication with clients;
  • Receiving and attending to clients and solve complaints;
  • Time management;
  • Offering a service to paying clients.

Hospitality Studies

In grades 8 and 9 hospitality studies the learner will study:

  • The sectors in the hospitality industry;
  • Career possibilities in the different sectors;
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities in the hospitality industry;
  • Responsible environmental operation;
  • Principles for safety, security and hygiene;
  • Menu planning and costing;
  • Kitchen and restaurant operations.

Maintenance and Upholstery

Career and occupational opportunities for learners with a foundation in Maintenance include but is not limited to:

  • General handyman;
  • Maintenance manager/assistant;
  • Buildings manager;
  • Entrepreneur.

Mechanical Technology

Under this subject, a learner will be able to:

  • Adhere to and identify safe working practices and demonstrate safe working conditions daily, also adopting proper safety and first aid procedures;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Mechanical industry and its productivity requirements, by applying appropriate work-procedures;
  • Understand and interpreting work instructions and drawings for the completion of projects;
  • Apply Mechanical Technology, techniques, processes and skills, as applied in the fabrication and Mechanical industry, using appropriate tools and measuring equipment.

Wholesale and Retail

Under this subject, a learner will be able to:

  • Explain the role of all role players and stakeholders in the industry;
  • Analyse an income statement;
  • Identify the requirements of outlets in terms of their service levels and product offering according to their target market;
  • Receive stock and explain requirements for the dispatch of stock;
  • Explain the concept and methods of merchandising products on shelves along with the importance of displaying prices and methods of ticketing displays;
  • Explain why businesses promote, how to reach targeted markets and how to display promotional items;
  • Explain how to record sales, accept and record payment and cash up and deposit takings.

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