Local newsNews

Grade 9 subject choices: Advice in the face of withdrawal of subject list

JOBURG – The Independent Institute of Education urges learners to avoid risky selections.

The Department of Basic Education recently announced the withdrawal of the designated subject list – a list of subjects from which students who want to pursue a degree have had to select their subjects.

Amidst these changes, Dr Felicity Coughlan, director of The Independent Institute of Education said there are some serious considerations not to be ignored. “Some may argue that the withdrawal of the designed subject list gives young people more choices, but we urge schools and learners not to make risky and uninformed changes,” said Coughlan,

Coughlan said the original list contained many of the traditional subjects used to gain access to university, and that many of these subjects required learners to master skills that will be important when seeking entry into a public university or private higher education institution.

“These skills include argumentation and reasoning, found in subjects such as history; logic and mathematics as found in accountancy and maths or maths literacy; and evidence and scientific reasoning skills, as found in physical science and life sciences,” said Coughlan.

She added that the two-language requirement also ensured a well-rounded educational experience for students living in a multilingual country.

“The reasoning behind the original inclusion of these subjects should be remembered, and students are encouraged not to put together a collection of subjects that are all of one type which will result in them developing less holistic academic skills.  The impact on their studies later in life will be real,” said Coughlan.

Coughlan said it was important for learners to keep in mind that despite the change of requirements at school, universities were not required to change their admission requirements.

“Higher education institutions need not change entry requirements if they don’t want to, and one can be sure that many – if not most – won’t. Definitely not in the short term, and particularly not for those qualifications that currently require mathematics or life sciences. We, therefore, encourage learners to do their homework before opting out of these traditionally required subjects,” Coughlan advised.

Given the risk of learners opting for perceived easier subjects or subjects that are too similar, Coughlan has urged them to investigate their options carefully, and for schools to support the youngsters in making informed decisions.

“In today’s volatile and uncertain world, it is more important than ever before to cultivate an extended base of skills from which you can draw, to improve your chances of succeeding,” said Coughlan.

Related Articles

Back to top button