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This chapter focuses on sub-sectors of the
education, training and innovation system:
Early childhood development
Basic education
The national research and innovation system.
It offers a vision, discusses challenges, and presents
proposals in each of these sub-sectors. The work
done by the Department of Basic Education (DBE)
and Department of Higher Education and Training
(DHET) in developing plans, strategies,
programmes and policy initiatives has informed this
The chapter draws on the Action Plan to 2014:
Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025 (DBE,
2011). The proposals in the Green Paper for Post-
School Education and Training (DHET, 2012) were
also taken into account. Many of the proposals in
this chapter are already being implemented or
under consideration by the relevant departments.
Where the commission is making new proposals
these will need to be tested before being adopted
as policy.
By 2030, South Africans should have access to
education and training of the highest quality, leading
to significantly improved learning outcomes. The
performance of South African learners in
international standardised tests should be
comparable to the performance of learners from
countries at a similar level of development and with
similar levels of access. Education should be
compulsory up to Grade 12 or equivalent levels in
vocational education and training.
The education, training and innovation system
should cater for different needs and produce highly
skilled individuals. The graduates of South Africa's
universities and colleges should have the skills and
knowledge to meet the present and future needs of
the economy and society.
Innovation is critical for introducing new products
into the market and producing goods and services
more efficiently. Research and development should
be significantly expanded. Collaboration across the
South African education system and with
internationally accredited institutions should lead to
higher levels of innovation.
The education system will play a greater role in
building an inclusive society, providing equal
opportunities and helping all South Africans to
realise their full potential, in particular those
previously disadvantaged by apartheid policies,
namely black people, women and people with
The different parts of the education system should
work together allowing learners to take different
pathways that offer high quality learning
opportunities. There should be clear linkages
between schools, FET colleges, universities of
technology, universities and other providers of
education and training. There should also be clear
linkages between education and training and the
world of work.
The single most important investment any country
can make is in its people. Education has intrinsic and
instrumental value in creating societies that are
better able to respond to the challenges of the 21
century. Lifelong learning, continuous professional
development and knowledge production alongside
innovation are central to building the capabilities of
individuals and society as a whole.
South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating
poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy
by an average of 5.4 percent, and cutting the
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