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In contrast to the German schooling system, scholars in South Africa do not attend different schools when they are older. At Grade 8 all scholars enter a secondary school and remain at this school until the end oftheir school career. The highest school leaving certificate – the “matriculation certificate with exemption” is attained in Grade 12 and entitles the scholar to apply for entrance into a university. A scholar who is awarded a “matric without exemption” can still study further but not at university level.

A matriculation with exemption certificate attained at an independent examination board (IEB) private school should enable the scholar to apply for entrance into a European or British University.

Legally, a scholar may leave school after having achieved Grade 9 but opportunities for further study or a well paid job will be very limited, particularly outside of South Africa.

Most private schools offer the International Examination Board’s National School Leaving Certificate – the IEB NSC. This is an internationally benchmarked qualification and is equivalent to the Cambridge AS level. It is quality assured by, Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education in South Africa. The IEB also offers three Advanced Program (AP) courses in English, Mathematics and German.

Scholars who wish to study in Germany also need to attain a Sprachdiplom in Grade 12. This diploma validates linguistic competence in German. Many German universities require specific subject combinations for admission into certain courses. These may vary between universities and also provinces so it is recommended to check the requirements with the university of your choice.

The German Abitur is offered by three private schools in South Africa: Deutsche Schule Johannesburg (DSJ), Deutschen Schule Pretoria (DSP) (website only in German) and the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt (DSK). These schools are supported by the Republic of Germany and the Abitur offered here is recognised by the The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) The Deutsche Schule Johannesburg has an additional facility for complementary and advanced education called the Phoenix Centre which offers the IEB Advanced Program in Mathematics.

Another international school; the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ) also offers a school leaving certificate called the International Baccalaureate (IB). The IB is also widely accepted by overseas universities.

Choosing a school.

Some useful links for further information:
Independent Examination Board
IEB Advanced Programs
Deutsche Schule Johannesburg
Phoenix Centre at the DSJ
The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany

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