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3 new subjects to be trialled at schools in South Africa this year

The Department of Basic Education says that it will trial a number of new subjects at South African schools this year.

In its annual performance plan for 2021/2022, the department said that forms part of the ‘immediate implementation of a curriculum with skills and competencies for a changing world in all public schools’.

These are the planned changes and how they will be introduced:

New African languages 

The department indicated that it will be introducing previously marginalised African languages at schools.

“The process of incrementally refocusing the teaching and learning of the previously marginalised African languages in South African schools has led to the introduction of KiSwahili as a Second Additional Language (SAL) in Grades 4–12 in 90 schools,” it said.

The department added that the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Kiswahili SAL for Grades 4–9 has already been planned and that a toolkit has been developed for the respective grades.


Nationally, 540 schools will be monitored for implementing compulsory entrepreneurship education, the department said.

The initiative is being driven by president Cyril Ramaphosa and is expected to officially form part of the curriculum by 2024.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has previously emphasised the importance of South Africans embracing a culture of entrepreneurship as the country aims to attract R1.2 trillion in investment over five years.

“We must look at what needs to be done to promote and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and an entrepreneurial culture. I have long said that entrepreneurial skills should be included in the basic education curriculum,” he said.

“Far too often our citizens are risk-averse when it comes to entrepreneurship, preferring the so-called comfort of gainful employment to the perceived insecurity that comes with self-employment.”

Coding and robotics 

Nationally, 54 schools will be monitored for piloting and implementing the Coding and Robotics curriculum, the department said.

The subjects would form part of the curriculum at different school levels from Grade R to Grade 9.

The coding and robotics subjects are aimed at guiding and preparing learners to solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and creatively, and function in a digital and information-driven world, the department said.

It added that learners will be able to apply digital and ICT skills and to transfer these skills to solve everyday problems and its possibilities.

“Furthermore, the subject aims at equipping learners to contribute in a meaningful and successful way in a rapidly changing and transforming society”.

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