FET colleges must be institutions of choice: Zuma

2012-04-04 19:03
Pretoria - Further Education and Training (FET) colleges are just as important as universities and technical universities, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"We must therefore change the mindsets in our society and enable FET colleges to become institutions of choice for many young people, so that we can obtain much needed technical skills," he said.

Zuma was speaking at the skills development summit in Pretoria.

He said that for FETs to be successful the lecturers would have to be exposed to workplace realities and the latest technology. "Graduation rates will need to rise... and curricula will need to be constantly updated to reflect changes in the world of work," he said.

He said the colleges would have to try and register as many students as possible. "We want school leavers, including disheartened ones, some of whom stand in street corners daily with no hope for the future, to be able to come back to the education and training system."

Zuma said there were sectors where jobs could be created to accommodate FET college graduates.

These included mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

He said the colleges should partner with Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (Setas).

"The Setas can channel resources for skills development to the colleges and also play a pivotal role in helping the colleges to build partnerships with employers in both the private and public sectors," he said.

Zuma said the National Skills Fund and the Setas would allocate R2.5bn over the next three years for the refurbishment and construction of FET colleges across the country.

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