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Sunday, April 1, 2007
The school grade system

Formal education in South Africa is categorised according to three levels – General Education and Training (GET), Further Education and Training (FET) and Higher Education (HE).

• The GET band consists of the Reception Year (Grade R) and learners from Grades 1 up to 9, as well as an equivalent Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) qualification.
• The FET band consists of grades 10 to 12 in schools, and also to all education and training from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 2 to 4 (which are equivalent to grades 10 to12), plus the N1 to N6 in FET colleges.
• The HE band consists of a range of degrees, diplomas and certificates up to and including postdoctoral degrees. These levels are integrated within the NQF provided by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Act, 1995.

Perhaps the accompanying table will help clarify the confusing structure.
The further education sectors have undergone a major rationalisation process to reduce the overall number of FET institutions from 152 to 50. The new institutional landscape for HE consists of eight separate and incorporated universities, three merged universities, five universities of technology and six comprehensive institutions.
Even so, as the table reveals, it still needs six columns to classify education, another example of the mess. By Nigel Benetton

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.3 1st April, 2007
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