"TVET colleges must be considered as higher education options" - Nzimande

By Drum Digital
12 January 2017

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande confirms three new TVET campuses.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande held a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, announcing that the department will open three new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) campuses around KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

“We aim to produce employable young people with high-quality occupational and vocational education and training skills‚” Nzimande said.

The three campuses are Thabazimbi Campus at the Waterberg TVET College in Limpopo‚ Bambanani Campus at Umfolozi TVET College and Nkandla A campus at uMfolozi college‚ both in KwaZulu-Natal.

Confirming the necessity of increasing TVET campuses, Media Liaison Officer Busiswa Gcangeni says it’s important to have more technical colleges.

“There is a huge increase in enrolments. In 2010 there were about 340 000 students in the system, in 2015, there were over 710 535 enrolments. We expect this number to be bigger for 2016 statistics,” Gcangeni said.

The department’s objective is to develop more  mechanics, technicians and operatives.

“It is expressed in the National Development Plan that the country needs to produce over 30 000 artisans per annum by year 2020, in order for the country to improve on economic development”.

While many misinformed scholars stereotypically dismiss TVET colleges as inferior compared to mainstream tertiary institutions, Gcangeni says Higher Education Department consists of the entire Post-School Education and Training system which includes Universities, Colleges and SETAs.

“We need to dispel the notion that post-school education equals university education only. We need more students to be enrolled to these Colleges”, Gcangeni added.

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