Minister in charge of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande and his Department, has released a statement in response to the memorandum of demands the South African Students Congress (SASCO) handed over to Parliament on TVET Colleges.
The Ministry appreciates the critical importance of the issues raised in the SASCO memorandum and the correct strategic emphasis placed on building the capacity and expanding the TVET College sector. This view is consistent with my view that our country must invert the university-centric nature of the South African post-school education and training system if we are to successfully meet the needs of the National Development Plan.
– Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
SASCO embarked on nationwide protests this week to have their concerns about TVET Colleges and it’s poor state heard and is now calling for a national shutdown of Higher Education institutions.
In their efforts to make TVET Colleges the institution of choice, SASCO submitted 15 demands which they want the South African Government to urgently address. Some of their demands are for the TVET system are:
issue certificates immediately
build student accommodation
equal funding model for TVET colleges and universities
inclusion of more disciplines
The Minister makes it clear that growth has been seen in the TVET sector in the past two years, “this includes a number of interventions related to the demands made in the Memorandum”, said the Minister.
The Ministry didn’t give much information when it came to responding to SASCO’s demand to have more TVET student accommodation built and said that there is an overarching project in the Department that deals with student residences in an integrated way for both universities and TVET colleges.
TVET College students will possibly have access to laptops from 2021 along with many Colleges starting to use e-books more. “Colleges are planning to move towards the use of e-books, which enables publishers to make electronic materials accessible to students, such as YouTube videos and web links”, read the statement.
The Department has reviewed the TVET curriculum since 2018, noted the Minister. All curricula relating to ICT has alls been reviewed and will be put in place from next year January. The TVET sector will also be seeing the addition of a Robotics stream in the NC(V) programme for IT and Computer Science next year.
“As a result of this process, thirty-eight (38) subject curricula have been reviewed and in the process of being evaluated by Umalusi and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation (QCTO). Fourteen of these curricula will be implemented in January 2021. ” said Nzimande.
Due to Covid-19 the Department has had to move some parts of the curricula reviews from 2021 to 2022 to ensure that there is sufficient time for preparations and training of the lecturers, explains the statement released.
“The early work for the establishment of a lecturer training institute in Gauteng has begun and will soon gain traction. It must also be noted that the establishment of new TVET lecturer qualifications and the development of associated programmes and their offering by universities is well underway, ” said Minister Nzimande.
Fourteen Universities are in the process of developing TVET College educational and training qualifications. As of right now, three of these programmes are already being offered, eleven programmes are accredited by the Council on Higher Education and eight more is set to be offered from next year onwards. Several Universities are also developing TVET-specific lecturer qualifications.
These lecturers will be equipped with theoretical and practical knowledge. They are also required to undergo work-based experience in order to qualify to teach. This new generation of lecturers will start filtering into the system from 2022.
– Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
SASCO also raised issues concerning what TVET College students receive for allowances. To this, Nzimande said that because all students who qualify, receive a travel or accommodation allowance along with a personal care allowance, “this constitutes free education for most students who progress in their studies”.
As for the demands about infrastructure at Colleges and what they lack, the Department responded saying that Colleges which are in need of repairs are currently planning for these repairs to take place as the sector benefits from The Capital Infrastructure Efficiency Grant.
At a SASCO protest this week, a student explained that in places like Germany, successful individuals are TVET graduates who have sufficient skill sets to carry out those functions and wants South African TVETs to have a similar model. Now, the Department is said to be agreed to work with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to adapt valuable and relevant insights from the Germany vocational training system with its robust links with industry.
On TVET students receiving their certificates on time, the Ministry said, “The Department is working very hard at meeting the 3-month turnaround time to issue certificates after students have met all their academic requirements. This target has been met just before the onset of COVID -19.” The Department has now said that they are putting in major effort to clear the certifications backlogs from 1992.
Nzimande also reiterated that due to finances, they can’t build TVET campuses per each sub-district but that they are committed to expanding existing campuses to reach more students, as well as embarking on distance and open learning initiatives.
Nine TVET College campuses are now near completion and will be completed by the end of next year. It is however important to note that this does not mean nine TVET Colleges are being built.
TVET College students can view online learning materials by going to http://www.tvetcolleges.co.za/
“Minister Nzimande commits to further engagements with the leadership of SASCO on issues contained in their memorandum and on other issues affecting students in general.”
MEDIA STATEMENT DATE: Thursday, 15 October 2020 TO: All media ATTENTION: News Editors/ Reports For Immediate…
Posted by TVET Colleges of South Africa on Thursday, 15 October 2020
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