Tag Archives: FET college

New policy changes to address the 40% absenteeism at FET colleges

Gwebinkundla Qonde, the higher education and training director-general
Gwebinkundla Qonde, the higher education and training director-general.


In order to deal with lack of students punctuality and attendance at further education and training colleges (FET), the Department of Higher Education and Training is promulgating a new policy to improve the outcomes of colleges.

There is a current perception that FET colleges are merely dismal, glorified high school, and the department of education is now set new ground rules to improve upon the quality of training and education provided by FET colleges.

Over the past few hers, the department of education has implemented a number of programs to convert FET colleges into institutions of choice in order to combat the lack of scarce skills in the country. Interventions such the appointment of chartered accountants as financial directors and numerous short-term interventions to assist weak colleges. Also students who could not afford to pay for eduction have been provided with free eduction.

, stated that all policy changes will be coming into effect in 2014 in order to address the dismal attendance and functionality of students. Currently,  40% of all students either do not bother to attend class or are late for their classes.

The new policy change’s main objective is to further improve the FET sector and is a warning to those students who do not attend or are late for classes with the prospect of being denied the right to take their exams and any financial support.

“The department, therefore, expects public FET colleges to set and enforce this policy, and our students to comply with high levels of attendance and punctuality to improve their chances for success and prepare them for the professional culture of the workplace.,” Gwebinkundla Qonde stated in a media briefing.

Since 2010, student enrollment has risen over 90% from 345,566 to 657,690 last year. During the same period, government funding of FET colleges has risen from R3.9bn to R5.6bn this year.

The new policy changes announced by Gwebinkundla Qonde goes hand in hand with the turnaround strategy announced last by the Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande for FET colleges. The main emphasis of the turnaround strategy was for effective curriculum development, professional development of academic staff, partnerships and linkages as well as student support services.

The policy changes will permit students who have an attendance of at least 80% for each subject to write exams, and colleges will be required to verify and provide attendance information to the Department of Higher Education and Training. The verification and attendance registry will have to be provided prior to the handing out of examination entry permits to students at the start of an examination session. At the same time, students who receive bursaries for tuition, travel and accommodation will only be paid if they have a minimum of 80% attendance record.

In the case that a student is sick on a regular basis for a particular course, the lecturer will have the right to call in the student to review the status of the students, and if necessary stop all cash disbursements.

The new policy changes have been welcomes across the political spectrum with many politicians stating that these changes should have come in effect years ago and that it is a pity that the government has to resort to these types of actions. Once would expect students to take responsibility for their own education and self-discipline.


W Cape creates R5.8m training and development program for artisans

Western Cape logo


Western Cape government takes on the challenge of tackling the skills shortages in the region with the launch of an artisan development programme in the province. The objective of the programme is to up skill and train local workers and provide employment opportunities for young individuals.

The programme is a collaboration between the private sector, communities, Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs) and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. R5.8-million has been set aside to promote and train artisans in the region.

Minister Alan Winde, the Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister, commented that the scarcity and lack of artisans in the region could have a devastating effect and impact on the local economy moving forward given the critical importance of these type of skills when it comes to service delivery especially within the engineering sector.


Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde
Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde


The goal and objective of the programme is to educate and train individuals with the necessary skills and in turn create and ongoing supply of qualified and skilled artisan who in turn can obtain employment and play an important role in advancing and growing of emerging sectors such as oil and gas industry.

The initial stage of the program will provide the necessary funding and support for 200 young individuals to complete their training and prepare them to take the National Trade Test exams.  The programme will also focus on training teachers and coaches within the 72 companies who have opted to join the programme  and assist them to train the young candidates whilst they are interning in these companies.

The programme is also aligned and works in parallel with the government’s National Development Plan which recognizes the importance of artisanship which can provide “shock absorbers for extreme poverty and platforms for self-employment” within developing economies and countries.

According to recent statements and comments from the National Development Plan, South Africa will need to produce at least 30000 artisan annually and the Western Cape government  want to play its part in helping the National Development Plan achieve its national objectives and goals.

Source: SouthAfrica.info


Nzimande is advising students to consider all education alternatives

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has praised 2012 matric pupils and has encouraged all those students who failed to qualify for university enrollment to take into consideration alternative further education and training (FET) colleges and various other training options.

Between 2012 and 2015, the government is intending to invest somewhere around R6bn into university infrastructure development with the bulk going towards “historically disadvantaged” institutions.


Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande


Whilst there has been a good deal of celebration by students who not too long ago passed their matric exams, a number of issues have already been raised by numerous academics with regards to how universities will cater for new students. Nzimande mentioned that 180,000 will likely be be accepted into universities along with a further 100,000 who will enter FET colleges.

Recent statistics has revealed evidence that more than 270,000 have qualified for enrollment into higher education institutions, and approximately 135,000 will sign up for universities degrees.

Considering the high pass rate in 2012 along with the anticipated higher enrollment into university, Jeffrey Mabelebele, acting CEO of Higher Education South Africa who represents university leadership, has revealed that student enrollment will beyond doubt exceed the space available to cater to these students.


Prominent economist, Chris Hart, agrees that the Department of Basic Education has made significant efforts to boost education and training, nevertheless, the outcomes produced by the schooling system are still not consistent with the state’s investment in basic education.

“Things have improved, but it’s still nowhere near acceptable. Resources invested and results that come out still show that there is still a considerable waste. Countries that put in similar effort produce much, much better results.”- Hart stated


Chris Hart Chief Strategist at Investment Solutions
Chris Hart Chief Strategist at Investment Solutions

Hart believes that university alternatives for high school students are presently inadequate and incredibly difficult to access. He continued to express the view that alternatives to university are certainly not as good as in previous years. Even apprenticeships are considerably more difficult to access. In previous years, students who were not able to qualify for university entrance would automatically have alternative options. However, these days, finding an alternative option to university has grown to be significantly more challenging.

The department of education has stated that as part of the future infrastructure development and investment in education there is going to be a high priority for the physically challenged in conjunction with accommodation facilities for students.

Source: universityworldnews.com, bdlive.co.za


Benefits associated with Vocational Training and Trade Schools

Trade schools are institutions that students sign up for so that they are trained to be able to attain technical knowledge relating to specific fields. Students get the opportunity to boost their understanding and education with regards to the innermost specifics of their subjects of study as well as broaden their scope of professionalism. As opposed to being trained on general things like they do on campus, students experience an intense instruction linked to a specific specialty. These schools are efficient, productive and cost-effective to attend.

During global economic recessions or downturns, trade schools offer students the opportunity to upgrade their skills and expertise. The cost of trade schools, in general, are far cheaper than larger institutions who offer 4 year degree programs, including universities and colleges. With intense and focused training at trade schools, it provides students the ability to receive practical knowledge and experience and enhance their likelihood of employability once they graduate.

Trade schools are have their advantages given the fact that they allow students to study exactly what they desire and need to know regrading their speciality of choice. Trade schools courses are also shorter thereby reducing the total expense of further training and education. Its also provides students the confidence and security to manage their careers and enter the workforce far sooner. Trade schools provide training in areas that cannot be overtaken by mechanization of companies and factories. Training and courses such as driving, masonry, and artisan cannot be mechanized.


FET College 3


Given the cost of degrees offered by universities and colleges, trade school offer students low cost options to be trained in specific fields and specialties and give them the opportunity to enter the labor force sooner. At the same time, given the fact that trade school courses are generally shorter, students are able to continue their education and training while they are working or on part-time basis.

Numerous research studies have been carried out comparing the success of trade schools students as compared to their traditionally-educated and trained peers. Virtually without exception, studies have proven that vocationally trained employees earn more, earlier in their preferred careers as compared to four-year college graduates within the same field, and in addition match them in salary and advancement years later. Despite the fact that these findings do vary somewhat dependent on the profession involved, the general conclusion remains to be the same – trade school degrees and certifications definitely provide those who earn them an advantage over their competitors.

Trade schools provide a more practical education rather than theoretical. For anybody who is the kind of person who does not take pleasure in listening to lectures and memorizing academic material, however , excelled at learning practical solutions to “do” things, you are definitely going to prosper with vocational training. The conventional trade school course instructs students whereby they require students to practice the tasks which will be essential in their profession, as opposed to asking them to read about them in a textbook.


Skills Development 0


For individuals who either battled academically in high school, or who failed to graduate, gaining admission to a trade school is less difficult than a traditional university. Even though many accredited trade schools do want applicants to possess a high school diploma, many will recognize relevant work experience, letters of recommendation from managers.

Prior to making the choice to enroll in a trade school, you need to examine the disadvantages and advantages of vocational training. Additionally, it is recommended that you do as much research as possible into your career goals, and decide if a vocational education is regarded as being the most effective way to get your foot in the door. What you will find out is that employers in certain career fields have a preference for hiring graduates with trade school degrees, while others give preference to university students or people who have worked their way up as an apprentice.

All things considered, trade schools can without doubt get you ready for a thrilling, successful career in a wide variety of fields. It is essential to remember, however, the fact that vocational programs are neither the only approach, nor necessarily the best way, to reach your goals in every field.


Review Details Advancement in South Africa Adult Education

South African Government reveals that substantial improvement has been made to remodel the country’s adult education system with recent data exhibiting enrollment figures reaching 233 000 this past year.

Collins Chabange, the Minister in the Presidency in charge of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, expresses in the The Mid Term Review report  the fact that the Department of Higher Education and Training had improved access to higher education programmes by way of increasing spaces and available options at FET colleges and universities.

The report reviews and offers feedback to government with reference to the commitments government undertook at the outset of the last electoral term. Part of the report states that “This is an important milestone for increasing the employability of those without matric,”. The report was published at the same time as the green paper on higher education on higher education was released by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande which forecasts in excess of 4.5 million students a year signing up at universities, colleges and other post-school institutions throughout the country by 2030.

The shift is an important part of the department’s endeavor to shift student focus from conventional institutions including universities to Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. The Mid Term Review report illustrates specific information and facts  of the successful efforts over the past year by government  to develop a high-quality FET program to offer adult learners the opportunity to obtain the essential skills which could assist them to partake in the country’s economic growth.

It discloses that a total of 30 117 out of work students entered into learnerships against a target of 17 531 for 2011. The objective for workers getting into learnerships was surpassed, with 19 192 workers entering learnerships against the target of 13 243. In excess of 11 000 learners joined the artisan training system with 8 102 being successful in their trade tests and acquiring their trade certificates. The pass rate for the trade test improved from 41% in 2010 to 57% in 2011.

The report emphasizes the creation of the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) system in 2011 furthermore marked an important milestone in establishing alternative strategies for skills development.

It contributed to the creation of options available for 164 713 additional learners at FET colleges. This was coupled with a variety of activities to boost the caliber of service offered by FET colleges, including an evaluation of curricula, syndication of learner and teaching support materials in addition to training of lecturers.

“During the remainder of the term, there is a need for the department to evaluate whether these activities have been effective and whether the FET pass rate meets the 2011 target of 43% for level 4, as opposed to the 39% achieved in 2010. It is also important for DHET to evaluate the quality of the FET qualification and its demand in the workplace. To reduce the non-completion of qualifications and to increase the pass rate, concerted efforts are needed to support underprepared learners in language, mathematics and science,”.

Having said that, it had not been identified whether or not the industry is able to absorb the elevated numbers of students graduating from FET colleges.

Government bodies are pinning their hopes on the  National Skills Accord involving government, business and labour accompanied by a commitment from the private sector and business to absorb FET graduates.

To make sure that graduates obtain the required skills essential to business, the government will have to intensify its initiatives to boost the quality of service furnished by the FET colleges.

This will include things like enhancing the technical and pedagogical qualifications of lecturers, raising prerequisites for practical experience for lecturers, in addition to making improvements to the governance and management of FET colleges.

Without these kinds of expansion plans, it would appear that the FET sector will continue to be hindered by the quality of its product.

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