The Gauteng Department of Education on Tuesday relaunched Rhodesfield Technical High School, in Kempton Park, as the Rhodesfield Engineering School of Specialisation, with a special focus on aviation, engineering and mathematics.
The school curriculum will focus on core subjects and courses of specialisation linked to aeronautical and industrial engineering, with learning opportunities provided through extended class times and after-school programmes.
Speaking at the official opening of the school, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga explained that schools of specialisation, such as the Rhodesfield school, were catalysts for the future of basic education.
She explained that success in the school subjects of languages, mathematics and science, formed the basis for participation and success in technical subjects in post-school education and training institutions, as well as the workplace.
Currently, each year around 140 000 grade 12 students complete the matriculation examination with a bachelor’s pass, with only around 50 000 students passing mathematics with a score higher than 50%.
The pool of students who can potentially access university and science-based technical vocational education and training programmes is very small in comparison with the skills demand in the country, she lamented.
Compounded by the growing need for technical and digital skills, the skills shortages in South Africa remain an issue, Motshekga added, noting that technical and digital skills have the potential to transform lives and drive economies.
Citing the Gauteng Education Department as a pioneer in skills development, Motshekga believes this “ground-breaking initiative” of specialisation schools will grow beyond the province.