FET Colleges First

Dec 8, 2019 | Publisher: Mike Stuart | Category: Education |  | Collection: Department of Higher Education and Training | Views: 2 | Likes: 1

Foreword Preparing for a skills revolution Naledi Pandor, Minister of Education This publication provides comprehensive coverage of a vibrant and growing public Further Education and Training (FET) college sector. It showcases the wealth of ingenuity, expertise and creativity found in the FET colleges. The FET colleges have achieved a great deal within a short time and with limited resources. This publication reveals the following striking features of the 50 public FET colleges in South Africa: • Each college has a range of strengths and specialisations. • An enormous variety of private, public sector and community partnerships have developed with FET colleges. Colleges should study the partnerships and linkages developed by their col- leagues, and use them to help identify new potential linkages. In this publication you will find: • An overview of the entire public FET sector and the 11 new programmes that make up the National Certificate (Vocational) qualifications. • A two-page showcase of each FET college, including the background, student support services, and critical skills needs they are addressing, as well as the strategic partnerships forged with government, local and international business and community organisations. • A summary of case study research into best practice within our colleges, identifying lessons learned and success achieved across such key practices as quality management, simulators, staff development, student support services, and business incubation and support. I urge you to make good use of this publication, to appreciate the wealth of commitment and learning that has gone into the reality behind the pictures and text you see. What happens in this sector in the years ahead is now up to us. FET colleges are institutions for all South Africans. Find out all about their programmes in this publication. Lastly, on behalf of my Department, I want to thank the Danish Embassy and Ambassador Torben Brylle not only for providing the funding to make this publication possible, but for their consistent support for education in this country in past years. Thank you also to the editor, Ms Cornia Pretorius and to the teams of people from DANIDA and RainbowSA, who all helped to make this book a reality. Naledi Pandor Minister of Education We have to make sure that further education courses are attractive to ambitious students . . . our vision is of a college sector that will be a sector of first choice – Naledi Pandor, Minister of Education, November 2004 “ ” FET colleges are institutions for all South Africans ■ Overview ......................................� 4 ■ A New College Curriculum .................................................................................8 ■ Case Studies .............� 15 Student Support Services ..........................................16 Inclusive Education ....................................................19 Academic Support: PLATO .........................................24 Simulators ..................................................................27 Staff Development .....................................................32 Diversity Management ..............................................35 Linkages and Programme Units ................................38 Incubation ..................................................................43 Quality Management ................................................46 ■ South Africa’s FET Colleges .................................................................150 ■ College Contact Details .................................................................................152 Contents Introduction South Africa’s 50 public Further Education and Training (FET) colleges are young institutions. They were created as recently as 2002 in terms of the FET Act, No 98 of 1998 with the declara- tion of former technical colleges, colleges of education and training centres into 50 merged FET colleges. The reason for the reform was captured in the 2001 Report of the Department of Education’s National Landscape Task Team: combining smaller and weaker colleges with stronger institutions would develop economies of scale and create capacity within colleges to reach more students, and offer a wider range of programmes, ultimately positioning them better to meet social and economic demands. The mergers commanded substantial institu- tional energy, at a time when concerns over unemployment, training and economic growth were growing by leaps and bounds. But when the call finally came from the highest level for colleges to step up their game – coupled with the financial commitment to do so – the merger growing pains dimmed. In 2004, President Thabo Mbeki said: “We will, during the course of this financial year, recapi- talise all the technical colleges and intermediate training institutions, ensuring that they have the necessary infrastructure, capacity and pro- grammes relevant to the needs of our economy.” Subsequently, the FET colleges sector has become a central feature of the government’s strategy to tackle skills shortages, job creation and economic growth. For instance, the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) 2005-2010 provides for close co-operation between Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and FET colleges. Later sections of this book provide details on this. In addition, the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA), a govern- ment intervention set on removing blockages to development, has identified the need for focused interventions in education. One of these is: “A huge upgrading of FET col- leges.” To act upon these priorities, the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) was created. JIPSA has identified growth sectors that lack adequately skilled persons, including Engineer- ing, Construction, Financial Management, Management, IT, Tourism and Business Process Outsourcing. For instance, in the IT networking field alone, there will be an estimated 113 000 vacancies in the next three years. In the areas of internet protocol telephony, security and wireless technology, around 60 000 posts will be vacant. South Africa is also short of artisans, thanks to robust economic growth, but also because of the ageing of current artisans who are, on average, 54 years of age. FET colleges are now gearing up to make a contribution to these skills areas. South Africa’s 50 public FET colleges offer a rich diversity of education and training programmes to a growing number of students Overview Overview 5 OverviewThe recapitalisation process The ability of colleges to make the contribution expected of them has been given huge momen- tum by the government’s R1,9-billion allocation for the FET sector’s recapitalisation. Education Minister Naledi Pandor said during 2006 that the recapitalisation process would fast-track the Department of Education’s ongoing efforts since 1995 to transform the FET sector. Some of the negative features of the then techni- cal colleges that the department has been trying to overhaul are: • Programmes that were outdated and unre- sponsive to the emerging economy; • Low throughput rates and negligible industry take-up of students; • Those working in colleges had lost contact with industry and had little knowledge of new trends, new technology and the new shape of business in South Africa and beyond; • Education policies for the sector bore little relationship to new demands, funding was inadequate and colleges were somewhat like schools with training workshops. The recapitalisation project has already gone a long way to address these concerns. With budget items for infrastructure, equipment and ICT, and the development of professional staff in relation to new programmes, administrative systems and curriculum reform, it represents a comprehensive renewal of FET colleges. Thanks to recap – as it has become commonly known in FET circles – colleges are poised to increase the number of students who are training in priority skills areas and ensure their employ- ability and/or entry into higher education. Preparation for recap Following the commitment of government, the Department of Education and colleges prepared for the recapitalisation process during 2005, while 2006 was used for monitoring and imple- mentation of plans. In the preparatory phase, the department commissioned a comprehensive report on skills needs, compiled a database of FET college pro- grammes, concluded an audit of the infrastruc- ture and IT facilities of 236 college sites, devel- oped 50 college recapitalisation plans, drafted a sector recapitalisation plan and produced the first draft of a reformed FET college curriculum. The drafting of the new college curriculum and design of the National Certificate (Vocational) in 11 fields of study – aligned with AsgiSA priority skills areas – and many additional specialisa- tions or electives has been a central part of the recapitalisation process. The aims, structure and programme of the National Certificate (Vocation- al) are outlined in the next section of this book. During 2006, the funds were transferred, the new curriculum was gazetted, lecturers were trained, textbooks were written, tenders and the specifications for infrastructure and equipment were awarded, examiners were appointed and students were recruited. In addition, the Depart- ment of Education developed a state of readiness instrument to determine whether colleges were prepared to introduce the new curriculum in 2007. Coupled with the multimillion-rand recapitalisa- tion programme, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced in his mini Budget – his Medium- Term Budget Policy Statement late in 2006 – that R600 million would be forthcoming for student financial aid. In his 2007 Budget Speech, Manuel announced that another R600 million would be made available to deserving students in the FET college sector. FET colleges first The FET Colleges Act, which was passed in Parliament in 2006, consolidates and supports initiatives such as: NSDS, AsgiSA, JIPSA, recap and the delivery of a new curriculum. Education Minister Naledi Pandor has called it “one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the area of skills development and vocational education”. The aim of the Act is to strengthen colleges’ responsiveness, co-ordination and quality. It will position colleges to teach the skills that are recognised and identified by AsgiSA and JIPSA. This legal muscle, which is now framing the emergence of this young sector, also gives substance to the Minister’s call for “FET Colleges First”. From as early as 2004, the Minister has been calling for colleges to be “first choice” insti- tutions and not “last resort” places of learning. At present, there are about 400 000 students enrolled at FET colleges, but the Department of Education wants to increase the number of students enrolled in priority programmes to one million in 2014. The recapitalisation process, the new National Certificate (Vocational) and the drive of FET col- leges to make a contribution have got the sector off to a favourable start. The FET sector’s response This book confirms the promise of the FET sector – young and enthusiastic – to step into the huge role with which it has been entrusted. For instance, it shows that colleges have not been idling aimlessly as they waited for their grand moment to arrive. Many of them have started to pursue best practices and processes. These range from Quality Management Systems to Student Support Services units; from the professionalisation of lecturers to opening doors to students with disabilities. FET colleges have heeded the call to be respon- sive, with exciting and wide-ranging linkages with the private sector, government depart- ments, municipalities, SETAs and educational institutions abroad. With these initiatives, FET colleges enhance the opportunities for students to gain practical experience and job placements. But colleges are also expressing responsiveness through a keen sense of their role as community resources. Colleges have been reaching out to the communities they serve, be they settlements of the big cities or the far-flung villages of vast rural areas. This enables them to deliver education and train- ing on the broadest geographical scale, to com- munities that would otherwise not be reached. Geographical reach is a strength that colleges are acutely aware of. There is evidence in this book of how colleges are using their geographical location to make a contribution to the communities that surround them; to be an accessible education and training resource to all. Perhaps the most striking feature of the FET sector that emerges from this book is how diverse the colleges are. Institutions range in size and number of sites; in the programmes and courses they offer; in their strategic partnerships and in how they are managed. The character of colleges does not only differ from one college to another. Each college has different sites – some as many as nine – and each of these campuses differs from the next. This rich texture in the FET landscape gives colleges a collective flexibility to live up to their mandate in the skills revolution. In this, they have the support of the national government and provincial and national depart- ments of education. The colleges are seeking greater support from employers to participate in the renewal of the sector by providing opportunities for students to do their practical training. Setting the tone in this respect is the construction sector (Murray & Roberts, Aveng/Grinaker-LTA, Wilson Bayley Holmes-Ovcon’s/WBHO, Group Five and Basil Read) which will, in the next five years, help with the training of artisans at two flagship sites which will have 1 000 students each by 2009. This partnership is expected to be the first of many and one of the many signs that the tide for FET colleges has turned. Education Minister Naledi Pandor captured the mood best when she said at the introduction of the FET Bill in the National Assembly at the end of 2006: “The time for the college sector has come.” Sources: Human Sciences Research Council’s HRD Review 2003, Chapter 14, Public Further Educa- tion and Training Colleges and www.gov.za. Since 2005, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund has supported young people to access skills training programmes at selected FET col- leges. These colleges were supported from the 2005/2006 Budget allocation. The fund has committed to approve funding in the 2006/2007 financial year to an additional 10 FET colleges. In addition to supporting skills training, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund has supported the establishment of Youth Advisory Centres (YAC) at selected colleges. By December 2006, there were 17 YAC points located at FET Colleges. In each case, the fund supports a YAC to the amount of R190 000 per college. These funds are used to employ youth at FET colleges to provide advisory services on opportunities available to youth. – Naledi Pandor, Minister of Education, Parliamentary briefing, February 2006 “ ” Overview Overview 7 OverviewIn the past six years, the colleges have been restructured, but this process needed to be consolidated through a specific college-fo- cused law. It is the aim of the FET Colleges Act to achieve this consolidation. Through the FET Colleges Act, the Department hopes to develop a skills profile that signals a greater correspondence between economic development and human capital. A number of developments, including govern- ment plans to boost petrochemical industries and power generation, mean new skills requirements. This requires institutions to train individuals with the appropriate skills and in the numbers required by industry and other sectors. The Act has to be understood against this backdrop. There is a plethora of institutions, organisa- tions, businesses and individuals all involved in training. Despite this, skills gaps remain and trainees fail to secure jobs in sectors that criti- cally need skilled practitioners. The FET Col- leges Act provides the legislative framework to strengthen the responsiveness, co-ordination and quality of training in FET colleges. All indicators of economic growth and development point to the fact that we must have more artisans in all the economic sectors in our country. The Department believes colleges are best placed to teach these skills alongside industry and other partners. Now is the time for employers to look to the college sector for those critical skills they need. The Act also removes ambiguities that have been associated with the 1998 FET Act. The FET Act of 1998 did not differentiate colleges from high schools offering FET-level programmes. The 1998 Act limits the colleges in a range of ways. First, currently college staff are employed under the Employment of Educators Act – the same Act that determines the employment of school-based educators. One of the negative effects of this is that a college has to draw from school vacancy lists as a first source of staff. Thus, even if a college is in need of a skilled technical person, it may be required to employ a language educator who is on the vacancy list. The Act addresses the situation and places the employment of college lecturers, who can deliver high quality programmes, on a sound and secure footing. Secondly, colleges are currently obliged to em- ploy educators with educational qualifications, even where the specific need is for an expert in the field of banking, or toolmaking. The Act addresses the situation and makes it possible for colleges to engage the best teach- ers for the task. Thirdly, colleges need to be able to offer classes in the evening or on weekends and in facilities that are adult-friendly. The Act improves the situation so that colleges do not keep school time or terms and are available to both teenagers and adults. The Act also establishes the possibility of greater articulation and mobility between colleges and universities. The Act creates a platform for colleges to respond more adequately to the skills needs of South Africa. It introduces flexibility and focus into the sector. The FET Colleges Act is designed to enable college councils and management to make colleges a sought-after and attractive choice for school-leavers, and for adult learners to enrol. The 2006 FET Colleges Act ... the FET Colleges Act, hopes to develop a skills profile that signals a greater correspondence between economic development and human capital. “ ” Students at ORBIT FET College assemble an innovative new solar cooking utensil designed for use in rural communities Creating New Opportunities The government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) has identified skilled artisans and vocational skills as critical for sustained economic growth.The new National Certificate (Vocational) is a compre- hensive and co-ordinated response to this skills agenda. The National Certificate (Vocational) is of- fered across the various FET colleges in 11 economic sectors. Government funding of these programmes aims to ensure that these 11 pro- grammes provide the skills to reduce unemploy- ment and grow the economy. The programmes that each college has chosen to phase in from 2007 were selected to support the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. The infrastructural face-lift of colleges under the recapitalisation initiative is not only about creating more favourable learning and teaching conditions. “Recap” is about providing the learn- ing environment for the delivery of the National Certificate (Vocational). The new National Certificate (Vocational) is the mechanism to do so, enabling an enthusiastic FET college sector to make its contribution to the critical need for intermediate to advanced skills. While the National Certificate (Vocational) aims to grow skills for a more productive economy, it also aims to give students access to skills, knowl- edge, values and attitudes for lifelong learning and a solid vocational foundation. A New College Curriculum The process of drafting the curriculum started in mid-2005. The Department of Education invited poten- tial writers from industry, Sector Education & Training Authorities (SETAs) and FET colleges to participate in an inclusive process to draft a new curriculum. The department wanted a responsive curriculum of high quality, intended to yield the skills that employers wanted, and appropriately structured, allowing flexibility for the employed, unem- ployed, school-leavers, out-of-school youth and adults enrolled at public FET institutions. The brief from the department to the curriculum developers was to consult as widely as possible. However, the consultation process was uneven. Some of the writers’ groups consulted success- fully, but others struggled to network adequately. These difficulties slowed down the process. When, in April 2006, close to finalisation, some stakeholders wanted to povide additional com- ments, an extension was allowed. Comments at this late stage delayed the conclusion of the exercise, but strengthened the curriculum that finally emerged. In this “pressure cooker” – as Penny Vinjevold, Deputy Director-General of FET, has described the process – a new FET college curriculum was created. A New College Curriculum Colleges market the new National Certificate (Vocational) qualifications While the [NC (V)] aims to grow skills for a more productive economy, it also aims to give students access to skills, knowledge, values and attitudes for lifelong learning and a solid vocational foundation “ ” Curriculum 9 National CNational Certificate (Vocational) Modern, relevant and responsive, the National Certificate (Vocational) or NC(V) will replace all Department of Education programmes in the FET (college) sector incrementally from 2007 onwards. The previous programmes have some value, but are generally outdated, including the National Technical Education, better known as NATED programmes (N1 to N6), some of which have not been revised since the 1980s. Other programmes to be replaced are the National Certificate Orientation (NCOR) or N1, which was an orienta- tion programme used to bridge the maths and science gap some students might have; the National Intermediate Certificate (NIC), which is parallel to Grade 11 and the National Senior Certificate (NSC), parallel to the Senior Certificate, commonly known as “matric”. In replacing these programmes, the NC(V) is responding to scarce and high-demand skills, but is also heeding calls from employers that they want “thinking” employees. In the 21st-century workplace, high levels of written and spoken communication skills, work ethics and personal management are highly valued. Mastery of these so-called “soft skills” is based on a thorough grounding in the funda- mentals of reading, writing, calculating and basic IT abilities. This is why the NC(V) comprises three compul- sory subjects: Language (first additional), Math- ematics or Mathematical Literacy and Life Skills (which includes IT) alongside the four vocational or specialisation subjects. Both the compulsory and vocational subjects are spread across 11 programmes or vocational fields of study, including Management, Electrical Infra- structure Construction, Primary Agriculture and Tourism (see table on page 14 for a full listing). The 11 programmes correspond with, amongst others, the priority areas identified by AsgiSA. The NC(V) has been phased in at FET colleges from January 2007. The qualification, offered at NQF Levels 2, 3 and 4, allows for its staggered implementation. This means the National Certifi- cate (Vocational) at NQF Level 2 is introduced in 2007, followed by NQF Level 3 in 2008 and NQF Level 4 in 2009. Unlike the trimester N-courses, the NC(V) courses are year-long courses. This means a certificate will be awarded after successful completion of each NQF level, follow- ing a national external examination. This structure allows students the flexibility to complete a certificate on one NQF level, work for a year and pick up their studies again. Implementation The Department of Education has put extensive measures in place to ascertain whether the sector and individual colleges are ready in 2007 to proceed with the implementation of the NC(V). In a move to ensure quality in the delivery of the new qualification, colleges had to prove their state of readiness to offer specific programmes. During 2006, a Ministerial Readiness Task Team visited 38 colleges. In the 21st-century workplace, high levels of written and spoken communication skills, work ethics and personal management are highly valued. Mastery of these so-called “soft skills” is based on a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of reading, writing, calculating and basic IT abilities. “ ” Departmental representatives followed up later in the year measuring colleges’ preparedness against a list of resources for each of the 11 programmes. The checklist gauged whether individual colleges could proceed with offering particular pro- grammes or not. In the meantime, publishers were commissioned to produce materials and approved materials were made available. A total of 1 861 college lec- turers were trained to offer the new programmes and examiners were appointed to start preparing for the first national NC(V) NQF Level 2 examina- tion at the end of 2007. These steps have helped to prepare colleges for a new era during which they can make a historic contribution to the growth and development of South Africa. Frequently Asked Questions Q: How is the National Certificate (NC) for colleges different from the school-based National Curriculum Statement (NCS)? A: The faces in the table below illustrate the key elements common to the two qualifications. Subjects National Senior Certificate National Certificate (Vocational) Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy ☺ ☺ Home Language ☺ X First Additional Language ☺ ☺ Life Orientation ☺ ☺ Additional subjects Three subjects Four subjects (Three compulsory + one optional) Q: Why was the curriculum changed? How are these programmes different from the “old” ones? A: The NATED programmes, while having some merit, do not really provide for the development of cognitive skills or for an integrated approach to learning. There was a separation of practical and theory and the literacy, numeracy and life skills required for employment were not taken care of. This in large part contributed to their unrealistically short duration, resulting in speedy certifica- tion at the expense of grounded education. Research has demonstrated that the mere acquisition of practical skills is insufficient to meet the broad economic and specific workplace challenges of the 21st century. Cognitive demands are increasingly being placed even on workers previously regarded as semi-skilled. The new programmes are therefore, of year-long duration, provide for integrated practical and theoretical learning and, in addition, compel students to become com- petent in analysis and synthesis, reading, writing, and logical thinking. This is catered for through the fundamental component, which comprises Language, Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation. Q: How are the fundamental subjects in the National Certificate (Vocational) different from the National Curriculum Statement for schools? A: The overlap in the content for First Additional Language and Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy is about 80%. This indicates a significant overlap and was intentionally designed in this way to ensure equivalence in cognitive demand and to promote mobility between the school National Senior Certificate and the NC (Vocational) college curriculum. Q: Can the language in the National Certificate (Vocational) be any of the official languages? A: Yes. All languages are included in the NC(V) policy document. The language chosen for the fundamental component must also be the language of learning and teaching. English has been developed, followed by Afrikaans and Xhosa. The other languages will be developed in the sequence of the needs conveyed to the National Department of Education. Any of the official 11 languages may also be offered as the fourth (optional) vocational subject. A New College Curriculum Construction Sector “We were approached by the National Department of Education to comment on the curriculum. Despite the limited time available, I made numerous suggestions about what I felt should be included and what should be left out. Many of these changes were accept- ed by the department and their response to our comments must be commended. However, the success of the National Certificate (Civil Engineering and Building Construction) will depend on the course material and how the curriculum will be taught. I would like to think that the curriculum is not cast in stone as I believe that the sec- ond and third year of the curriculum still needs a bit more work and that we might also find that the first year may need some changes depending on feed-back from the students, industry and the colleges. Personally, I would like to see more em- phasis on the practical side of some of the courses – possibly a 50:50 split between theory and practical, rather than the cur- rent 60:40 split, as I believe this will make the students more employable.” – Paul Netscher, WBHO (Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon’s) 11 National CFinancial Services Sector “The National Department of Education approached the Institute for Public Fi- nance and Auditing (IPFA) in March 2006 to comment on the new curriculum for the National Certificate (Finance, Economics and Accounting). “IPFA, a professional body for public finance staff, was thrilled to be involved in this project. We believe that the philosophy behind the new curriculum is an admirable one; that of providing learners with vocationally specific skills that will assist them in fol- lowing a career in a particular sector and providing employers with employees who have skills that are relevant, usable and productive. “In IPFA’s view, whether this philosophy translates into delivering what employers and students so desperately need will depend largely on the extent to which colleges and lecturers embrace their role in this initiative. “PFiQ’s dealings with the lecturers have proven to both IPFA and PFiQ (IPFA’s commercial arm, Public Finance IQ) that the colleges and lecturers certainly have the talent required to implement this new intervention.” – Karen Prinsloo, Professional Develop- ment Manager, IPFA Q: How does the National Certificate (Vocational) link to SETA programmes? A: The NC(V) is not a unit standard-based qualification but the content for subjects has been mapped against and assembled using unit standards. For this reason, much of the content in the vocational subjects overlaps with outcomes in unit standards. Q: Will the SETAs recognise subjects/levels passed in the National Certificate (Voca- tional)? A: The SETAs will take a decision whether they will recognise subjects passed based on the learning outcomes contained in the corresponding Department of Education subject guidelines. Q: Will learners who complete a level at school be able to proceed directly into the next level of a college programme? A: The learner will get credit for those subjects that overlap with the college programme, for example, the fundamentals and, perhaps, one specialist subject from the NCS (such as Tourism or Hospitality Studies): competence in the other subjects in the vocational specialisation of the college programme will have to be achieved before going to the next level. Q: Does the NC(V) lead to higher education? A: Yes. The National Department of Education is presently in discussions with Higher Education South Africa (HESA) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to formalise this study pathway. Q: What will the student be qualified to do after three years? A: Students will essentially have the following options: • Access work opportunities in a work environment or a sector relevant to his/her vocational specialisation (such as a bank/insurance company after doing the Financial, Economics and Accounting programme). • Access the workplace with the occupational specialisation he/she might have opted for through the fourth subject option (such as Motor Mechanics after opting for Automotive Repair and Maintenance). • Decide to progress into higher education. • Pursue further training at the same/horizontal level. • Go into self-employment. Q: Who will quality assure the practical component of the assessment? A: The responsibility will be with Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, which may choose to delegate aspects of this function to a relevant Education & Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body. Q: Who will develop the materials? A: Publishers will do so as per the agreement between the National Department of Education and the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and publishing houses. Q: Will all levels (NQF Levels 2,3 and 4) of exams be external? A: Yes. Curriculum Q: Will the NQF Levels 2 and 3 papers be marked and moderated internally or externally? A: The Department of Education: Educational Measurement, Assessment and Public Examinations, will manage the marking and moderation process for all three NQF levels. Q: Does the 200 hours allocated per subject refer to contact time? A: This is a good indication of what the contact time should be. This allocation is based on the premise that there are 40 weeks in the academic year. This full-time academic year of study is inclusive of tuition and assessment. Q: Who will provide the certificates at each NQF level? A: Umalusi. The National Department of Education will issue statements of results. Q: Will students who fail have to repeat the full year? A: Students will not have to repeat all subjects but it will cost them a year. The student may repeat only the failed subjects but will not be allowed to proceed to the next level for any of the other subjects that were passed. Each level must be completed before proceeding to the next level. Q: How will the programmes be funded? A: They will be funded through a new programme-based funding model that has been developed. This means that a sum, expressed in rands, will be allocated to a student in a specific vocational programme. One portion of this sum (80%) will be subsidised by government, and the other portion (balance) will be regarded as a fee to be paid by the student. In many instances this amount will be covered by bursaries awarded to students. Q: Who will teach Life Orientation? A: Colleges have identified and trained personnel to teach this subject. Orientation training has been provided by the Department of Education. In addition to this, funds allocated to colleges under the recapitalisation plan must be used for this purpose. Q: Will there be any training for lecturers? A: There was national orientation training provided by the department in the 11 programmes. However, provinces and colleges will complement this with their own training. Q: Can colleges continue to offer short courses? A: Yes. This is encouraged for colleges to be regarded as responsive. However, these courses will not be funded by the Department of Education and will, therefore, have to be funded from other sources. Q: What happens to the N1 to N3 courses not covered by the new programmes (for instance, Clothing Production; Art and Design)? A: These should be offered via the SETAs until such time that they come under the pool of priority programmes offered and funded by the Department of Education. Q: What happens to the N4 to N6 programmes for 2007? A: The status quo remains until an equivalent qualification is developed and is ready to be offered. IT Sector “In general, the [review] team felt that the NC(V) curriculum was highly relevant as a qualification for the IT industry. The challenge is to translate this curriculum into a vibrant course that is able to provide learners with the necessary skills, attitudes and values needed in order to become productive members of society. The curriculum is contextualised within the framework of the workplace and the curriculum support material must highlight this together with relevant examples.” – CSIR, through the Meraka Institute, which has a mandate for people develop- ment and research and innovation in IT. A New College Curriculum National CStructure of the NC(V) ■ Three compulsory subjects ○ Communication (language, which must be one of the official languages in South Africa and should be offered as a language of teaching and learning); ○ Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy; and ○ Life Orientation. ■ Four vocational subjects. ○ Generally three of the voca- tional subjects for each pro- gramme are compulsory and allow for high levels of spe- cialisation. However, the fourth subject may be chosen from any vocational programme. Q: How will the phasing out of the old programmes occur? A: The phasing out will happen as follows: • 2007 -N1, National Certificate in Orientation (NCOR) and equivalent. • 2008 - N2, National Intermediate Certificate (NIC) and equivalent. • 2009 - N3, National Senior Certificate and equivalent. Q: Will the National Certificate Orientation (NCOR) still be offered? A: No. This programme was designed to orientate students for the Engineering programmes that were offered in trimester format. There was no time for the orientation of students in the 10 to 12 weeks of teaching of the N1 programmes. The new programmes eliminate the need for the NCOR because they are year-long programmes. Q: How will artisans be catered for? A: The Department of Education and the Department of Labour have agreed that there will be three routes to artisanship. These are: learnerships, the National Certificate (Vocational) and Workplace Artisan Training. All of these routes will be completed with the requisite trade test to obtain artisanship. Q: What will happen to students who cannot afford full-year courses? A: Bursaries are available through applications made directly to the colleges. Q: Will there be additional exams for students who fail programmes that are being phased out? A: Yes. There will be additional exams for learners to work themselves out of the system. These opportunities will be provided in the year following the phasing out of the specific level of programme. Q: How did the National Department of Education arrive at the 11 priority programmes? A: The skills reports completed by the SETAs as well as by different research institutions were reviewed. The high demand skills that were identified were then clustered into the different sec- tors of economic activity identified by AsgiSA. The NC(V) programmes are matched against these sectors, viz, Tourism, Finance, Electrical Infrastructure Construction, and so on. Q: Do these programmes respond to the needs of industry? A: Yes. The various stakeholders were engaged at different stages of the curriculum writing process. These include: the SETAs, business, industry, professional bodies and related interest organisa- tions. In addition, reference persons were used to review the relevance of the curriculum content. Q: What can colleges do if they want to offer programmes that have not as yet been developed? A: Colleges can apply to the Department of Education via the Provincial Departments of Education for programmes to be approved for development. 13 Curriculum A New College Curriculum The New National Certificate (Vocational) Programmes NATIONAL CERTIFICATE VOCATIONAL SUBJECTS CAREER OPTIONS Civil Engineering and Building Construction Quantities, Setting Out and Costing of Designs; Construction Contracting; Construction Equip- ment and Machinery; Construction Masonry; Wood Working Process; Road Construction; and Physical Science. Architectural technology; drainage inspection; quantity surveying; town regional planning; sanitation engineering; road construc- tion engineering; civil construction engineering; and building construction. Electrical Infrastructure Construction Electrical Principles and Practice; Electronic Control and Digital Electronics; Electrical Work- manship; Electrical Systems; and Construction. Electrical engineering; industrial engineering; sound technology; theatre technology; process level control; digital electronics; and instrumentation. Engineering and Related Design Engineering Fundamentals; Engineering Technology; Engineering Systems; Automotive Repair and Maintenance; Fitting and Turning; and Engineering Fabrication. Car manufacturing; architectural technology; welding; tool mak- ing; automotive repair; motor mechanics; panel beating; manu- facturing and industrial engineering; metallurgical and materials engineering; geological engineering; aerospace engineering; fitting and machining; chemical engineering; civil engineering; mining engineering; mining metallurgy; petroleum engineering; and mechanical engineering. Finance, Economics and Accounting Applied Accounting; Economic Environment; Financial Management; and New Venture Creation. Private and public accounting; banking; financial services; insurance services; investment broking; and bookkeeping. Hospitality Food Preparation; Hospitality Generics; Client Services and Human Relations; and Hospitality Services. Housekeeping; food and beverage management; hotel manage- ment; accommodation services; and events management. Information Technology and Computer Science Introduction to Information Systems; Electron- ics; Introduction to Systems Development; and Contact Centre Operations. Computer programming; information technology management; computer systems engineering; and data processing and infor- mation management Management Management Practice; Operations Management; Financial Management; Entrepreneurship and Project Management. Human resources; marketing; financial management; public rela- tions; production; and office administration. Marketing Advertising and Promotions; Marketing; Market- ing Communication; and Consumer Behaviour. Marketing; business management; promotions and advertising; marketing research; product development; public relations; merchandising; brand management and customer relations. Office Administration Business Practice; Office Practice; Office Data Processing; and Applied Accounting or Second Language or Personal Assistance. Accounting and bookkeeping; office management; office administration; freight forwarder; human resources management; personnel management; private secretary; front line reception; recruitment or employment agent; self employment; legal secre- tarial services; and personal and general secretarial services. Primary Agriculture Soil Science; Plant Production; Animal Produc- tion; and Agribusiness. Agricultural economics; agricultural science; farm management; forestry; botany; horticulture; food technology; food science; and viticulture. Tourism Science of Tourism; Client Service and Human Relations; Sustainable Tourism in South Africa; and Tourism Operations. Accommodation management; conference and events planning; restaurant and food services; tourism development; transporta- tion management; travel counselling; and game ranging and safari work. 15 Case StudiColleges are a critical part of the nation’s response to the challenges of addressing unemployment and poverty “ ” Case Studies Case Studies Student Support Services Student support systems are aimed at improving students’ lives, in particular their learning abilities and their ultimate chances in the labour market About student support services Student support systems are aimed at improving students’ lives, in particular their learning abilities and their ultimate chances in the labour market. This can range from academic support and financial aid to health care and encouraging extramural cultural and sporting activities. Since learning and teaching are core activities of FET colleges, academic support is a critical component because it has a perva- sive influence on the quality of all programmes. However, it must be noted that this activity is undertaken by all staff and not necessarily only by academic support specialists. Student support services and strategies aimed at promoting academic success should, therefore, be “institutionalised” to form part of the overall development of an institution, and not only of students. CASE STUDIES Case Studies 17 Case StudiFor instance, a well-stocked library, study centres, modern equipment and enough textbooks not only optimise students’ abilities to learn, but also benefit lecturers by improving the conditions under which they teach. Other ways in which academic support can be “institutionalised” is by ensuring staff development to enhance teaching practices and, ultimately, the success of students. Good course design could provide for language and literacy development in mainstream teaching of vocational education content knowledge. Linkages and Programme Units can assist by setting up links with business and industry to help in the plac- ing of students for practical training and permanent employment. Marketing divisions can ensure that students receive correct information before and after admission. Overall, student support in the academic domain involves academic staff who can also help the support unit with the ongo- ing tracking of students’ results. The unit itself could provide thorough pre-course briefing to help students to make informed decisions about what they study; provide general academic support, including study skills to help them succeed, and simulation facilities for practical training to help them find jobs. One college that has started putting its Student Support Services to work for the institution as a whole is Lephalale FET College in Limpopo. Source: 2006 HSRC Report, “Towards a Framework for Organising Academic Support to Improve Student Support in FET Colleges & National Department of Education” Lephalale FET College On any given day of the academic year, there are small groups of students occupying the wooden tables and chairs just outside Lephalale FET Col- lege’s Student Support Centre. Some are having meetings; others are simply relaxing. Centrally situated on the college’s campus in the bushveld town of Ellisras in Limpopo, the centre is a drawcard for all of its students. It is a hub of social activity, not only for those faced with aca- demic, personal, health or financial difficulties. Being welcoming and accessible is a special strength of the centre that has been making an impact on student wellbeing on campus. The centre was built in 2001 after the college’s council approved the project. A growth in student numbers at the college made it increasingly difficult for staff members to cope with student support that was spread out across many units and departments and that was conducted in a haphazard fashion. The thinking was that, if the college had one centre, it could pull together and co-ordinate all the services together under one roof. More importantly, the restructuring would make support services more accessible to students. Rina van Jaarsveld, the project manager who has been responsible for the centre from the begin- ning, believes easy access to student support is critical. “A student with a problem does not want to wait for two hours or 10 hours. By that time, he or she would have found their own solution to the problem and it will not necessarily be the best solution,” she said. While planning the centre, Van Jaarsveld probed lecturers on the kind of support they were offering and asked students what they wanted from such a centre. The college also looked at student support units at other colleges in South Africa and abroad but, in the end, came up with a centre and services it believed spoke essentially to the specific needs of the students of Lephalale FET College. “We did what we felt our students needed. Other colleges may do things differently because their students have different needs,” said Van Jaarsveld. The college’s investment in the building and in people to provide the services is paying off with testimonies from students calling the Student Support Centre “the best place in the college” and a place that “can make your life simple and easy”. The college’s initiative has also earned it recognition from the outside. In 2003, it won the Ministerial Award for Student Support Services from the National Department of Education. Inside the centre, which has three staff members, is a study area, a small library, a computer room, facilities for photocopying, a room for counselling and a lecture hall for workshops or discussions. This is being used for academic purposes because of a growth in student numbers but, once recapi- talisation funds provide for additional classrooms, it will revert to the support centre. There is also a common room in which to play games and read newspapers, which are bought on the days when they are packed with job advertisements. With these facilities and the activities and programmes generated there, the college offer

Overview of the entire South African public Further Education & Training (FET) college sector (as at 2007). Published: April 2007. Pages: 156 A4. Publisher: Department of Education

About Mike Stuart

I am a communications veteran in the field of the South African skills development landscape with an interest in workplace learning and how this can be simplified and upscaled to reduce poverty through job creation. Communication, linkages and advocacy in the workplace learning field are my primary skills. I am interested in finding and supporting more sustainable ways of wealth creation through distributed network technologies.

Specialties: Networking and research skills in the training and education industry - with special reference to Skills Development and the NQF.


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