Programmes » Three Stream Model

Three Stream Model

The ‘Three Stream Model’ is a concept developed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to refer to the creation of multiple learning pathways (academic, vocational and occupational) that enable learners’ to make choices in their schooling within the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 offered in schools in South Africa. 

This programme is designed to address, amongst others, the alignment of the basic education system to the national policy imperatives of the government in the National Development Plan and the White Paper on Post-School Education and Training; make the school curriculum responsive to megatrends such as globalisation, Industry 4.0, COVID-19 and the changing nature of work; address high expanded unemployment (38.7%); NEET expanded unemployment (41.2%); low matric attainment (52.3%); high dropout rates per cohort (50%); skills mismatches (high unemployment and high vacancy rates); predominantly academic/theoretical curriculum and fragmented guidance services.

The programme will (1) pilot, test and introduce vocational subjects at Grades 8 and 9 in the GET Phase at public ordinary comprehensive schools, in schools where it is not implemented; pilot, test and the introduce occupationally oriented subjects at Grades 10, 11 and 12 in the FET Phase in public ordinary comprehensive schools and focus schools; and pilot, test and introduce the GEC at NQF Level 1 to enable learners to choose learning pathways in the academic, vocational, and occupationally oriented streams at Grade 10, 11 and 12 in the FET Phase.

Role Players


  • Knowledge transfer of TVET and occupational learning programmes.
  • Alignment of NCV subjects and occupational oriented subjects in grades 10-12 in schooling system.
  • Teacher development through SETAs and TVET Colleges.
  • Research on skills demand and supply.
  • Career guidance training for teachers.


  • Align labour codes of practice to technical & vocational and occupational subjects.
  • Advice on occupational health and safety regulations.
  • Provision of employment services.

Donor agencies

  • Funding support for implementation of TSM.
  • Knowledge transfer of new technical & vocational and occupationally oriented subjects.
  • Research support.


  • Continuing professional development for technical & vocational and occupationally oriented subjects.

National Skills Fund

  • Inclusion of TSM indicators in the National Skills Development Plan.

Quality Councils

  • Articulation of grades 8 and 9 with the FET Band.
  • Articulation of occupational oriented subjects in grades 12 with HET Band.
  • Alignment of the grades 10-12 with TVET qualifications.


  • Review of teacher qualifications framework to incorporate TSM teacher development requirements.

TVET Colleges

  • Alignment of the grades 10-12 with TVET qualifications (NCV and NATED).


  • Technical support for the implementation of the TSM.
  • Research support for TSM.

Provincial Education Departments

  • Implementation of the TSM in provinces.
  • Conduct TSM pilots.
  • Implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
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