SA future lies in FET colleges

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The demand for skills in South Africa must be met by moving away from a
university-based post school education and training system. According to Higher
Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande there should be greater
diversification.

The department plans to expand the Further Education and Training system and
transform these institutions into highly functional colleges that can respond to
the needs of the country.

"We are opening 12 FET college campuses sometime during the course of
this year," said Nzimande.

Chartered accountants and chief financial officers have been employed in the 50
public FET colleges across the country. The aim is to ensure that the money that
will be allocated to improving the quality and function of FET colleges will be
used responsibly.

Human resource's practitioners have also been allocated to manage the
human element.

A dedicated FET lecturer's training college has been introduced to produce
competent lecturers. The college will offer pre-training for those who want to
teach in FET colleges as well as "ongoing professional development for
lecturers.'

Nzimande said the days when FET colleges were seen as institutions that
were less than universities must come to an end.

"FET colleges must become institutions of choice and not be regarded.as
institutions for those who are not doing well, who cannot go to university.'

FET colleges have seen growth in the last two to three years and the
number of students who have enrolled in these colleges has almost doubled
from 2010 to 2013, this shows a growing interest in these institutions.

The turnaround strategy is expected to create a range of opportunities for
students in order to close the skills gap.


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