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The National Curriculum

Basic Education for All

In 1996 South Africa passed the South African Schools Act to ensure that all learners have access to education without discrimination. According to our constitution, everyone has the right to education, including Adult Basic Education and Further Education.

The government provides for basic education from Grades 1-9 (ages 7 - 15), which is compulsory. This phase of schooling is now known as General Education and Training. Children may enter Grade 1 in the year in which they turn 6, provided that they turn 6 before 30 June of that year. The government also provides guidelines for teaching Grade R (pre-school), and is trying to make Grade R accessible to all children by creating Grade R classes in primary schools. Grade R is not compulsory.

The next phase, Further Education and Training (Grades 10-12) is not compulsory, but is still supported by the government. After school, your child may enter Higher Education and Training at a University or a University of Technology. The government provides guidelines for education at all three levels, and controls the quality of education through the Department of Education.

The government also provides ABET (Adult Basic Education and Training) courses and programmes throughout South Africa.

The Revised National Curriculum

The Department of Education has created a new curriculum for use in schools. The curriculum covers eight Learning Areas: Languages; Mathematics; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences; Technology; Arts and Culture; Economic and Management Sciences and Life Orientation.

Learn more about Outcomes-based Education, the Learning Areas and other important information in this section of the Beehive. Use the menu on the left of this page to find out what you need to know.

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