ALL Esayidi Tvet Colleges were shut on Monday after a call from national Tvet Colleges SRC to students to join them in strike action until the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) responds to students’ demands.
The Tvet college students raised issues about results that have not been released, cutting down of enrolments, student funding, infrastructure and others.
Esayidi Tvet College campuses in southern KZN region have joined the shutdown - Gamalakhe, Port Shepstone, Umzimkhulu, Kostad, Mtwalume, Oshabeni, Nyenyezi and Clydesdale.
Esayidi SRC president Thembelihle Shusha said they decided to join the shutdown as the issues also affect them on local level and that some of the issues are beyond management level as many of them are with the department.
“There are many issues with the department, including the ones mentioned by national SRC. On our local campuses we are still waiting for results and we have over 100 diploma applications that have been rejected, just to name some of the issues.,” said Shusha.
He said the issue of diplomas is tricky as the students study for 18 months then afterwards seek in-service training and after completing this they are told their applications have been declined.
“Students are not given guidelines before going to find in-service training, only when they have completed it are they are told they are not carrying out the required duties that qualifies them for a diploma,” said Shusha.
Shusaha also touched on delays in NSFAS.
In a statement sent out on 18 January by DHET minister Blade Nzimande, he said he is aware there is still a way to go until institutions are at peak performance in terms of delivering on their mandate of empowering young people with the skills and knowledge.
“We are determined not to let this situation go on for longer than is absolutely necessary, and we are working with college authorities and other relevant institutions such as Seta to rectify any deficiencies,” said Nzimande.
He called on student representative bodies at Tvet colleges to talk to DHET and their administrations they can ensure improvement.