The Role of The PGCE in Further Education & Training

This article will discuss the importance of education in South Africa, what a PGCE is, and how you can get this certification to reach higher levels in your teaching career.


The future of South African children lies in the hands of teachers.

High school education, in particular, is highly essential since it provides students with academic and vocational training.

MANCOSA offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Further Education and Training that equips teachers with advanced knowledge and skills to teach at a FET level.

This article will discuss the importance of education in South Africa, what a PGCE is, and how you can get this certification to reach higher levels in your teaching career.

The way education is making a difference in SA

Education plays a significant role in South Africa. The South African government considers education the highest domestic priority — which is why education receives the most significant share of its spending (5% of GDP).

Some ways education is making a difference in South Africa include the following:

  • Accessible and inclusive education: SA has made significant progress in this area. People from different backgrounds and income levels can access free and compulsory education, including primary and secondary school phases.
  • Grants and bursaries are available to formerly disadvantaged communities: Many schools and institutions offer grants, bursaries, and scholarships to people who form part of previously poor and disadvantaged communities.
  • Curriculum diversity: A range of curricula is available to cater to students from different backgrounds with various interests and talents. There are academic, vocational, and technical subjects. For example, many schools offer art and theatre subjects to prepare students for jobs in the creative industry.
  • Multilingualism: Many South African schools use two languages as a medium of instruction. Some even offer a third language to enhance students’ linguistic skills to better prepare them for the work environment.
  • Technology innovations: South African schools have started incorporating technology into their classrooms to make lessons more practical and exciting to students. Some of these technologies include adaptive learning, cloud computing, and more.
  • Support for special needs education: South Africa has enacted the Schools Act that makes education compulsory for children between the ages of 7–15 and also requires government officials to make education accessible to students with disabilities.

This means that education significantly impacts South Africa and its economy. However, without skilled and knowledgeable teachers, none of this is possible. This is why it’s so important for teachers to keep enhancing their knowledge to make a more significant impact.

This is where the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) comes into play.

Understanding the PGCE: How does it work?

If you’re considering pursuing a PGCE, here are some important things you must know about this program. It’s a postgraduate program and requires students to have a bachelor’s degree with sufficient knowledge in teaching. This certification is accredited by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

PGCE courses prepare graduates for a career in teaching — equipping them with theoretical and practical experience. This 1–2 year program specialises in developing graduates who want to teach within the FET phase (Grades 10-12).

Students can choose specialisation subjects based on their interests. Some specialisations offered could include:

  • Accounting
  • Business studies
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Afrikaans
  • Physical Science
  • Geography

Discover more about Why the PGCE is a way forward for teachers.

Further education and training: the role of PGCE Teachers

Two sectors manage South Africas’s learning industry:

  • The Department of Basic Education
  • The Department of Higher Education

Within these two sectors and the country’s curriculum, there are three bands of education:

1. General Education and Training (GET) is the most basic learning stage and teaches students how to teach from grades 0, 1–3, 4–6, or 7–9.

2. Further Education and Training (FET):
Further education training (FET) is also called Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET). It’s an educational level in SA that follows the GET (General Education and Training curriculum).

FET is aimed at Grades 10-12 and is created to equip students with the knowledge and abilities to pursue higher education, vocational training, or enter the workforce.

Students have to choose from various subjects (academic or vocational):

  • Academic learning leans toward theoretical practices and considers traditional subjects such as maths, literature, geography, and history.
  • On the other hand, vocational training focuses more on practical and hands-on approaches, teaching students skills such as art, programming, and filming.

PGCE-qualified teachers are critical to the education of FET in the school system.

3. Higher Education and Training (HET) or tertiary education is the most advanced form of education and includes both undergraduate and postgraduate certificates, diplomas, and degrees. This type of learning is offered to students after high school when students want to study for specific jobs and improve their quality of life.


MANCOSA offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Further Education and Training that teaches students to become innovative FET teachers. This 18-month program consists of core and specialisation subjects, including Economics, Life Sciences, isiZulu, and many more.

To enrol in this advanced teaching program, students must already have a three-year teaching degree. This program will:

  • Equip students with the foundational knowledge of theories and principles of advanced teaching and learning.
  • Teach students to become expert communicators so they can instruct school children effectively through English.
  • Provide students with advanced abilities to plan lessons and use technologies to facilitate effective learning.
  • And so much more.

Register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with MANCOSA

Now that you know what a Postgraduate Certificate in Education is and the prerequisites, you’ll see whether you qualify for this program.

You can look at MANCOSA’s PGCE in Further Education and Training if you have the PGCE qualification requirements and want to learn more.