Stakeholders in higher education have got until Monday to provide feedback on the Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training published three months ago by the Higher Education and Training Department.
Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, is encouraging all stakeholders to participate in this process. After the closing date, on April 30, the Department of Education will look at all comments and work towards producing a White Paper.
The bold Green Paper released in January enables the country to move in the direction of generating more graduate students with all the in-demand skills essential to grow and maintain the economy.
It seeks to align the post-school education and training system with South Africa’s all round development agenda.
The paper sets out objectives and goals linked to numerous government expansion strategies, such as the New Growth Path; Industrial Policy Action Plan 2; Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa 2010-2030 and South Africa’s Ten-Year Innovation Plan by the Department of Science and Technology.
“This will enable the department to contribute more effectively to the goal of inclusive economic growth and development and to contribute fundamentally to reducing unemployment and poverty,” Nzimande explained .
The paper at the same time sets out a broad policy for broadening and improving access to post-school education and training opportunities to all sectors of the population; building up institutions to further improve education quality and developing a post-school education and training system that is equitable, accessible and affordable, including free education and training for the poor.
Furthermore, it sketches out a vision for a progressive post-school education and training system that is certain to play a role in overcoming the difficulties facing society. The department proposes to accomplish this by nurturing a culture of education that inspires high levels of excellence and innovation.
The green paper further more proposes the expanded involvement of Sector Education and Training Authority (SETAs) in higher education and training institutions rather than private sector service providers, and also to shed light on their role as facilitators of training and development of the skills of the workforce.