Education Minister Naledi Pandor has announced that 22 000 students have so far registered for the new National Certificate (Vocational) at public FET Colleges. This is against a target of 27 000 that the Department has for these new programmes.
The N1 programmes have been phased out for this year and students are new able to register for the new curriculum. Pandor announced that the ICT and Construction streams in this new Certificate programme are over-subscribed.
It was announced near the end of last year that learners at FET Colleges would also be eligible for bursaries, as their counterparts in Higher Education already enjoy.
The Education Department has a target of 20 000 individuals who will received full bursaries for studies towards the National Certificate (Vocational). The fees to be charged for this new Certificate have also been capped by the national department to ensure the courses are within reach of poorer students.
Pandor described the new Certificate as "in-depth course which have been developed together with the relevant industry players?, and will emerge ready and able to take up employment in the sector'.
Referring to the recapitalization of the FET Colleges, Pandor informed a briefing in parliament that, "most of the recapitalization funds have been committed and the remaining funds for 2007 will be used to enhance ICT connectivity in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo colleges'.
The Minister also called on employers to make workplace learning opportunities to be available for learners. "We must not forget that as the National Certificate: Vocational is rolled out by the FET Colleges, even more learners are going to need workplaces to complete their learning in the workplace before becoming artisans.
President Thabo Mbeki announced in his State of the Nation address that problems had been identified in the relationship between national and provincial education departments in the running of FET Colleges. He announced that legislation will be introduced to alter this relationship to improve delivery in the FET Colleges.