‘New’ colleges signal a ‘new era’ in SA’s education system

2014-11-18 12:22

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Further Education and Training colleges are getting a makeover – in name, at least.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced today that the colleges will now be known as Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges.

Nzimande revealed the change at a two-day conference that’s currently under way at Midrand’s Gallagher Estate.

“This is much more than a name change because it signals a whole new era for colleges. This is an important moment in the development of the country’s post-school education and training system,” Nzimande said.

“In the whole world [Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges] are a well-known concept. The name change therefore aligns us with international practice.”

The conference is aimed at taking stock of how far the sector has come, its achievements and to forge a new way forward.

The minister said: “We must develop and deliver programmes which provide industry with a fit for purpose workforce. Aligning our colleges and their programmes to the world of work is no longer negotiable.”

He stressed that all the colleges should be linked to industry.

“Even in rural areas where there are no companies, there are police stations in which motor mechanic students could be directed for experience. On our side we are working to improve the quality of teaching and learning and to improve the relevance of programmes.”

Many colleges are also now running programmes funded by the Sector Education and Training Authorities, he said, adding that such programmes are directly linked to skills needed by employers.

“I’m tired of employers coming to me, telling me that colleges are not producing what they want. Employers must come and be in the councils of these colleges and influence curriculum formulation.”

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