DA: Probe FET’s poor results

2008-07-07 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance have called for an urgent investigation into Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, which they say have failed dismally to deliver on their targets and objectives.

DA spokesman on Labour, Anchen Dreyer, said evidence of this is the fact that these colleges reached only four percent in their admission targets, with only 23% passing in 2007.

“As a key part of the cabinet’s plans to improve the skills levels of South African workers, FET colleges must deliver on their targets or our employment crisis will continue to worsen,” she said.

Their mandate was set under the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa), which seeks to address the skills gap and drive the government’s plan to increase the number of artisans trained by 2010.

According to Dreyer, the intention of Jipsa is to increase the number of students enrolled in FET institutions from 400 000 to one million over three years.

However, he said the Jipsa annual report in 2007 showed that there had been an increase of only 25 000 students.

“R2 billion has been spent since February 2006 on recapitalising FET colleges … if they are only enrolling four percent of the target number and only 23% of those who are enrolled pass, then a vast amount of money is being wasted … the minister of Education needs to urgently investigate … and put a rescue plan in place.”

Dreyer suggested this lack of performance could be related to a number of problems with poorly prepared and under motivated teachers, and the low enrollment called for an investigation into marketing strategies.

The KZN Education Department spokeswoman, Mbali Thusi, said they could not comment on this as it was raised on a national level.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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