Monthly Archives: July 2017

A Fresh Perspective on the GED®

A Fresh Perspective on the GED®

29 July 2017

Today, I attended a homeschool seminar by the well-known homeschool consultant, Martie du Plessis, in Hermanus. I have attended her seminar before and heard many of her talks at the various homeschool expos over the years. Each time, I come away with a new perspective on something that she shared. Today was no different. She put my focus on a couple of gems of information, which are now suddenly freshly relevant and have a new significance in own life and for others  that I reach, especially homeschoolers.
One of the things she often speaks about is preparing our children for life in the digital era, an era where they have to learn to thrive amid chaos, an era where they have to learn to focus amid a multitude of distractions and the era of information, where it is no longer the ability to read that is important but the ability to discern WHAT to read.

She also shared testimonies of grown homeschoolers in their 20’s who are now successful in their own businesses and careers. Without fail, they all said that they are successful today because they had TIME…time to spend pursuing the things they loved, TIME with their parents who mentored and encouraged them and TIME to discover who they were, where they belong and how they can serve their community professionally.

Suddenly, I realised that I have been underplaying some of the most significant advantages of choosing to do the GED® credential as an alternative to a traditional matric.

A traditional matric demands that students spend a large amount of time working through an extensive syllabus, learning facts, information and in some cases, a bit of thinking and writing skills in order to pass traditional pen and paper exams.

Most of the service providers offering recognised matric courses, offer courses that replicate the text-book based school system at home – a system that is considered by modern educational experts to be an outdated remnant of the industrial age – a system designed to raise factory-workers, who all shared the same knowledge and clocked in and out and worked on a time-table …and a few became academics or other professionals!

While this kind of system may develop patience, perseverance and diligence in some children, even at home, it robs them of a lot of TIME that could be spent on other pursuits – other things that develop them as a person in ways that time with text books never can, time doing things that might become the basis of a future career path, time learning other things that are much more relevant to life in the 21st century.

The GED® on the other hand test SKILLS in (only) 4 subjects – skills which are considered to be essential for success in the workplace of the 21st Century – maths, reading, writing and a huge emphasis on reasoning and critical thinking. The tests are presented mostly in comprehension test format, so no wasting time cramming obsolete facts and information you will later forget is required. The tests are done on computer – the tool of the future!

Homeschooled students who have had a good, solid education in the 4 subjects of the GED® tests, up to about grade 10 level and beyond, can usually quickly develop and improve the SKILLS that they need to pass the tests.

During this preparation time, and after achieving their GED®, they then have much more TIME to spend on hobbies, new interests and 21st century skills that could become their sources of income in the future.

Learning about crypto-currency trading online

The successful people of the 21st century need to have a completely different skill set from the academics or factory-workers of the previous century– they need to be creative, innovative, collaborators, good communicators, cross-cultural, computer-savvy…these are skills that are not found in text books or even online courses. They are skills that you can develop only by living life, doing new things, working with people, taking risks, working on projects, learning to use new technology and learning from mistakes.

We have to change our thinking and our children’s thinking and help them to understand that they need a much wider range of skills than a traditional matric will ever give them, in order to be successful in the milieu of 21st century.

So the next time someone asks, “Is the GED® a real matric?”, I will answer – “The GED® is not a matric, it is an alternative foreign grade 12 equivalent* that has the potential to set your child free from the outdated educational system of the industrial era, to equip your child with more relevant skills and to launch your child into a new dynamic way of learning, that can bring success in the modern economy!”

It’s a stepping stone on a new path to a new future.

*SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) has evaluated the GED® and found the  National Senior Certificate as its closest comparable qualification. SAQA evaluates each submission of a foreign qualification on a case by case basis and therefore students with a GED® are eligible for SAQA Foreign Qualification evaluation.

Prospective clients frequently ask, “How do I know that Online GED is not a scam?” “Is Online GED South Africa legitimate?”

With the growing number of online scammers on the internet it is a very legitimate and responsible question to ask.

Here is information to help you verify that we are not a scam!

Important: Any website offering to give you a GED® credential or diploma online IS A SCAM. You can not get your GED® online. You can only study to prepare for it online!

In order to earn your GED® credential, you have to write the official GED® tests at a verified test centre. You can not write the official GED® tests from home!

In South Africa, the GED® tests are written at 38 branches of Boston City Campus & Business College. The GED® diploma is awarded to successful candidates by the GED Testing Service® in the USA.

What we offer is the online GED® study programme, powered by the Essential Education GED Academy™  online course, to help students prepare for the GED® tests.

Online GED South Africa is run by Shirley Erwee as a sole proprietor. Here is how to check that this is a legitimate business and check her credentials:


1. Head Office

If you contact the GED Head Office in South Africa, they will confirm that Online GED South Africa is one of the licensed service providers, offering the Essential Education GED Academy course. You can contact them at to confirm this. You can phone and speak to one of their consultants too if you are worried about being the victim of a scam.

Only South African content providers listed on that site may use the “powered by Essential Education” logo as shown on our website.

2. Facebook Group

There is also an Online GED South Africa support group on Facebook with over 2000 members, consisting of both prospective and existing clients. You are welcome to join the group and ask other people how they find the course and the service that we offer.  There are members who will gladly give you references. Go to and request to join the closed group.

3.  Homeschool Author

Shirley Erwee on SABC 3 Afternoon Express on 26 April 2016

Furthermore, if you search online for the name, Shirley Erwee, you will find that she is the author of two books about homeschooling published by Penguin Random House South Africa, Homeschooling the Primary Years and Homeschooling High School.

She is also a curriculum provider and runs a website about homeschooling at She offers online courses about starting homeschooling,  getting through high school and various other aspects of homeschooling in South Africa at

4. Homeschool Legal Defence Association

You can also find links recommendations to contact Shirley at the website of the Pestalozzi Trust which is the homeschool legal defence association in South Africa. Go to
You can give them a call to confirm too.

5. Educational Events and Expos

We support and attend educational events around the country such as the Cape Town Home Education Expo, the Gauteng Home Education Expo, the Bertha Centre Career Pathways Youth Event in Philippi Village and other smaller events at learning centres.


Cape Town Homeschool Expo 2017  and    Gauteng Homeschool Expo 2017

Career Pathways Event at Philippi Village in Cape Town, June 2018

Online GED presentation to parents at a learning centre in Edgemead, Cape Town, June 2018

Shirley Erwee is very well-known in the SA homeschool community. She is not a fly-by-night scammer.

You do have to be careful of being ripped off, so use the internet and do your homework and this should give you peace of mind.

When you are ready to enrol and have made the payment, we will activate your account and then guide and assist you all the way through the process of getting your GED® credential, including booking tests, ordering hard copies of the certificate and transcript from the USA and more.