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National Skills Authority
New National Skills Authority appointed
Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:00
Dr Khotso Mokhele, a director at Implats and head of the National Research Foundation, has been appointed to chair the National Skills Authority.
Born in 1955, Dr. Mokhele matriculated from a rural school and obtained a B.Sc. degree in agriculture. Then, on a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship, he studied at the University of California-Davis, earning an M.Sc. (food science) and a Ph.D. (microbiology) in 1986. Subsequently, he was awarded postdoctoral fellowships and worked in the laboratory of Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Hamilton O. Smith at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Mokhele returned to South Africa in 1987 and held teaching and research positions before joining the Foundation for Research Development.
He represents South Africa on the executive board of UNESCO and is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board that advises the director-general of UNESCO. The NRF president also serves on the Council for Higher Education and the Council of the University of the Northwest.
Speaking in 2000 Dr Mokhele expounded on his views on economic development.
"I don't believe we will have any democracy to speak of until black people in South Africa start to feel they can be architects of this democracy -- not just the social aspects, but the education and economic aspects as well. For us -- for black people -- and for the total society, we must have unhindered access to those careers upon which an economy is built. And you don't easily do that by producing lots of accountants, lawyers and medical doctors. You do it by producing engineers, physicists and chemists. To create a new society we must open the door that makes mathematics and science education available to everyone in this country."
The 29 member board is the advisory body to the Minister on the National Skills Development Strategy the governments skills empowerment drive and is elected every three years.
Its main functions include advising the Minister on the National Skills Development Strategy, the allocation of subsidies from the National Skills Fund and to liase with the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Seta) on the national skills development strategy and sector skills plans.
Board members are drawn from critical stakeholder groups business, labour, the State, education and training providers, community and development interests which include youth, women, civic organisations and persons with disabilities.