Technical Skills Development in Civil Services: A Conundrum from the Perspective of Pre-Service Teachers in South African University of Technologies


 For young people to have access to the workforce, technical disciplines must combine theory with real-world application. But mixing the theoretical knowledge of technical school topics with practical, hands-on abilities does not provide the desired outcomes. This study examines the misalignment between the Department of Basic Education (DBE) curriculum and the development of technical hands-on skills at selected South African schools, which puts students at risk of failing to graduate from Grade 12 with the critically important technical skills and abilities, and how this can be fixed. This research aims to identify the current issues impeding students’ development of practical technical skills and provide advice to the Department of Basic Education on how to address them. The survey confirmed pre-service teachers’ dissatisfaction with the DBE’s lack of material and equipment assistance for schools. In addition to suggesting that resources and infrastructure be provided, more time should be allotted in schools for the development of suitable practical skills. Based on the study, significant curriculum revisions for the Senior Phase are suggested in order to make room for the development of practical skills.


Author(s) Details:

M. S. A. Maeko,
Durban University of Technology, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

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Keywords: Technical hands-on experience, technical skills, sustainable economy, practical assessment tasks

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