GED opens the first of 27 specialised schools

The Curtis Nkondo School of Specilisation in Soweto offers technical and vocational curricula.

The Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation is the first of 27 the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is reorganising into specialised facilities. Picture: Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Education Departmen t (GED) has officially opened the first of 27 specialised schools that will offer technical and vocational skills to high school pupils with a keen interest in engineering, math, science, ICT and commerce, entrepreneurship as well as performing arts and sports.

The Curtis Nkondo School of Specilisation in Soweto was previously known as the Fontanus High School and has been revamped with a new computer lab, a library, new courts for netball, tennis and volley ball; and free access to the internet.

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Living legends -Mzwakhe Mbuli block, sports complex - Oshebeng Koonyaditse #NewCurtisNkondoSOS @Lesufi @Oshebeng2020

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Three-hundred-and-eighty pupils were selected as its first entrants at the start of the year and will occupy the school next month.

Speaking on the selection process, spokesperson Oupa Bodibe says the group are among some of the top performing students in the province.

"Across Soweto, principles were requested to nominate learners that are high performing. We now have 380 students in grade eight and nine. We are working progressively to introduce other grades until grade 12, and by the time the school has reached full capacity, we should have 1,300 learners."

He says the admission criteria is particularly unique.

"Any parent can apply but they must know that their child must be an academically good performer - nothing less than 60 percent [average]. They will also go through aptitude tests, they will be required to write an essay and if they want to go into the performing arts stream they will also go for an audition. So it's quite a high level way of identifying talent in the schools"

Bodibe adds, "We are going to open 27 more schools across Gauteng. It's really opening a new era in the basic education sector so that we now focus on vocational and technical education. Our ultimate goal is to change the balance so that we produce more graduates in technical and vocational than in the academic stream."