FET student association launched

2013-10-14 00:00

A NEW association to expand students’ political activism at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges was launched in Durban on Friday.

For the first time, FET colleges would have student organisations that are set up to respond to socio-economic liberation and transformation in the country.

These were the sentiments of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande as he launched the South African Further Education and Training Student Association.

He said the association was a solution to the missing piece of the skills development puzzle that his department was putting together to entrench and advance post-school education and training.

Nzimande said FET colleges have been placed at the nerve centre of the country’s development pathway. He said student leaders in the institutions must be aware of the transformation priorities for the development of the sector.

He said he was concerned about the insistence of students on de-linking bursary allocation from academic performance and class attendance. He said he had received reports of student protests aimed at forcing management to relent on the implementation of class attendance policy. “Students cannot appear at the college only on the day of the bursary pay-outs and then disappear. This has a direct negative impact on the pass and certification rates in the sector. We are not running a social grant scheme here and the mischievous activities of this minority of bad apples are, in fact, equal to fraud,” he said.

“As the department, we remain committed to meeting South Africa’s educational and skills needs, with a special focus on artisan and other middle-level skills and to embrace the value of responsible and accountable leadership,” Nzimande said.

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