Eddie Oosthuizen, head of GED studies at Boston City Campus and Business College, explains how an American qualification allows students to gain entry into tertiary education. Picture: Supplied

Nowadays South Africans can do the American GED certificate in the comfort of their homes and use the certificate to gain entry to tertiary studies.

Issued by the American Council on Education, the certificate was launched in 1942 as the equivalent of a secondary school-leaving certificate. Since then, more than 22 million people worldwide have obtained the GED certificate.

Locally, it is offered by Boston City Campus & Business College at all 44 campuses countrywide.

“This year we started offering tuition towards the GED certificate to assist the many South Africans who don’t have a matric certificate or those who achieved poor results in matric and yet have a burning ambition to study further,” explains Eddie Oosthuizen of Boston City Campus & Business College.

“The certificate resolves many issues, such as attending school full time, and it is fully recognised by Higher Education South Africa (Hesa).”

The American GED certificate is offered completely online: students log in to the online studying system daily, as if they are entering a physical classroom. As students go through their learning material and complete assignments, the system records it all and passes on the information to tutors on duty at Boston.

The Boston tutors perform many tasks including monitoring academic progress. They are also available to students at scheduled times when they need assistance or a word of encouragement. Telephonic assistance allows students to study anywhere.

“The students say studying like this is great fun; they love having their virtual teacher guide them through their course privately.

“They like the fact that they can work at their own pace but enjoy support from a tutor every step of the way.

“They also like the fact that they can choose to study online from home or they can choose to go sit in a classroom at their nearest Boston City Campus & Business College and learn online there, using the college’s computer and wi-fi.”

The compulsory subjects that students have to pass are English reading, English writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. To give students a greater chance of achieving excellent marks, Boston allows students to do one compulsory subject at a time.

As a student you get to focus all your effort and attention on one subject and once you pass the final exam for that subject, you move on to the next subject.

“The advantage of the American GED certificate is you can work at your own pace in every sense of the word and enjoy the support of a dedicated private tutor,” says Oosthuizen.

Angela Botes, who recently completed her GED at Boston City Campus & Business College Bedfordview campus, is ever grateful that she discovered the GED option.

“I elected not to write the South African matric, and later deeply regretted this decision,” says the 45-year-old.

“Going back to attend high school was definitely not an option. However, studying the GED online and completing the certificate made me employable and opened new doors to me and I plan to study further.”

* To find out more about the GED certificate, contact a student counsellor at the Boston City Campus & Business College near you or phone 011 551 2000.

THE STAR