E.M.S. is a compulsory subject for Grade 8 and 9 pupils and is a combination of Accounting and Business Economics with an emphasis on Business Economics in Grade 8 and Accounting in Grade 9. In Grade 10 to Grade 12, pupils can choose to take Accounting and those that have made this choice are likely to benefit from the knowledge that they will gain during the 3 years, both in terms of their personal financial affairs, as well as if they choose to continue studying Accounting in their tertiary education.
The school syllabus provides a thorough grounding in the basic principles of Accounting, as well as introducing pupils to a wide range of forms of business-ownership, and the books kept by these businesses. Pupils learn how to draw up the books and financial statements of sole traders, partnerships, non-profit organizations and companies (including cash flow statements). Other topics include bank reconciliation statements, debtors and creditors ledgers, asset disposal, cash budgets and ratio analysis. As of 2006 VAT, Manufacturing Accounting and business ethics have been introduced into grade 10 and are expanded upon in Grade 11 and 12.
This subject is designed to develop the logical thought processes of the pupils. Rote learning is not part of this course and pupils are expected to apply their knowledge. This does mean that they have to be actively involved in the lessons and work continuously at the subject as the concepts are built up in a hierarchical fashion.
Experience has shown that an ability to think logically, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm and good levels of concentration are usually prerequisites for success in this subject.
School accounting is aimed at two groups of learners: those who are going to continue studying the subject in tertiary studies, and those who are not.
Those who are planning to study B.Comm, B.Bus.Sci, B. Econ. or any business/ marketing courses at tertiary level, would be well advised to do this subject at school. The Accounting syllabus covered at school is based on the practices and principles as applied in the real world. The syllabus is also very much in line with the first year course at university and it makes good sense to be on familiar ground for at least one subject in a typical first year B.Comm. scenario which includes Accounting, Economics, Commercial Law and Statistics.
For the pupil who is not going on to do a business degree or diploma, financial literacy is equally important. Financial literacy is required in every professional career, and most forecasters are adamant that our children will end up in small businesses in as yet unmapped fields, where knowledge of the subject is vital.
Accounting is definitely a life skill subject. It doesn’t matter what career you pursue, you will always benefit from the Accounting you have done at school.