Education for all

School of Specialisation opens in Soweto


The new Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation signals a new era in basic education, said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at the opening of the school on Monday.

“The Gauteng Department of Education’s Schools of Specialisation programme is indeed an innovation worth celebrating. The Schools of Specialisation will play an important role in the skills revolution as envisaged in both the National Development Plan and Gauteng’s Government programme of Transformation, Modernisation and Re-industrialisation,”  said the Minister.

The first School of Specialisation was officially opened in Soweto.

Schools of specialisation focus on both theory and practical learning required in various fields of learning and are therefore distinct from normal public schools because they have a strong technical and vocational content.

Learners are given work place exposure and career guidance in their chosen fields to prepare them for the transition to work or pursue higher training. The Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation will focus on Engineering, Maths and Science; ICT and Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

The school replaces the former dysfunctional Fontanus High School.

“The Schools of Specialisation programme would have an enormous positive impact on the Gauteng’s economy in particular and rest of the country in general. Research tells us that, if done right, the basic education is a prerequisite for tackling poverty and promoting short and long-term economic growth.

“Schools of Specialisation locates themselves within this paradigm as they seek to nurture the development of top talent across a sub-set of disciplines, and breed South Africa’s future generation of leaders,” said the Minister.

She added that there was currently a misnomer that exists among the majority of learners who seem to think that basic education is a springboard only to the traditional university education stream.

“We must say without any fear of contradiction that the sole purpose of a good basic education is to offer various career pathways to all learners - each according to his/her ability.

“As, I understand it, the Schools of Specialisation will assist in addressing critical skills shortages in South Africa and accelerate the improvement of existing Dinaledi, Technical and Magnet schools in Gauteng. Most importantly, they will serve as laboratories to deepen teaching and learning methods that can be extended to nearby schools.”

Minister Motshekga said the programme was a welcome innovation and will definitely have a desired impact on the skills deficiency of the country’s youth and workforce. - 

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Issue 58