Introducing the national curriculum statement
In 1995 the South African government began the process of developing a new curriculum for the school system. There were two imperatives for this. First, the scale of change in the world, the growth and development of knowledge and technology and the demands of the 21st Century required learners to be exposed to different and higher level skills and knowledge than those required by the existing South African curricula. Second, South Africa had changed. The curricula for schools therefore required revision to reflect new values and principles, especially those of the Constitution of South Africa.
The first version of the new curriculum for the General Education Band, known as Curriculum 2005, was introduced into the Foundation Phase in 1997. While there was much to commend the curriculum, the concerns of teachers led to a review of the Curriculum in 1999. The review of Curriculum 2005 provides the basis for the development of the Revised National Curriculum Statement for General Education and Training (Grades R–9) and the National Curriculum Statement for Grades 10 – 12.
The national curriculum statement
The National Curriculum Statement consists of 29 subjects. Subject specialists from the provincial education departments and Department of Education developed the Subject Statements which make up the National Curriculum Statement. The draft versions of the Subject Statements were published for comment in 2001 and then re-worked to take account of the comments received. In 2002, 24 subject statements and an overview document were declared policy through the Government Gazette. In 2004 five subjects were added to the National Curriculum Statement.
The National Curriculum Statement now consists of the Overview and Subject Statements for the following subjects:
(11 official languages – each counted as three subjects to cater for the three levels Home Language, First Additional Language and Second Additional Language and 13 non-official languages
• Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Science & Life Sciences
• Accounting, Business Studies & Economics
• Geography, History, Life Orientation and Religious Studies
• Consumer Studies, Hospitality Studies and Tourism
• Dramatic Arts, Dance Studies, Design, Music & Visual Arts
• Agricultural Sciences
Subsequent to 2004, some additional subjects have been added to the list above.
New f.e.t. curriculum : grade 10
Please note that since 2006, Grades 10, 11 and 12 have fallen under the F.E.T. (Further Education and Training Group or Band). This culminates in the issuing of aNational Senior Certificate (N.C.S.)