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South Africa’s FET colleges receives R2.5 billion boost

South Africa’s 50 further education and training colleges (FET) recently received their share of the R2.5 billion which have been earmarked for the expansion of the FET sector to help in skills development in the key growth sectors of the South African economy. A further R1.5 billion will be made available for infrastructure improvement of the colleges.

To read more go to Megan Wait’s article in Creamer Media’s Engineering News by Clicking Here!

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R15 billion set aside for Further Education and Training Colleges

South African Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has set aside R15-billion to increase the number of students attending South Africa’s Further Education and Training Colleges. This is part of a plan to improve the quality of education at FET colleges so that they become the tertiary institutions of choice. The plan also includes an agreement with retired accountants to step in as CFOs at these institutions.

Nzimande wants the  FET student population to grow from the current 400 000 to 4 million by 2030.

To read more go to the article on East Coast Radio Newswatch by Clicking Here!

President Jacob Zuma places education and skills development at the centre of the South African government’s policies

South African President Jacob Zuma, placed education and skills development at the centre of the South African government’s policies in his State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2010. He announced a number of key activities that will be undertaken to achieve this.

In the government’s 2010 programme, it wants to improve the ability of children to read, write and count in the foundation years. 
The government wants learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day. Teachers will be assisted by providing detailed daily lesson plans. Students will be provided with easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages.

Zuma also announced that from this year onwards, all grade 3, 6 and 9 students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated. The aim is to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35 and 40% to at least 60% by 2014. Results will be sent to parents to track progress.

In addition, each of the country’s 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education. This will be recorded in an auditable written report.

The government aims to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014,  he continued.
He urged parents to cooperate with the government in making this a success. He also welcomed last month’s statement by the three teacher unions, NAPTOSA, SADTU and SAOU, reaffirming their commitment to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign from the beginning of 2010.

Zuma further stressed the need to invest in the youth to ensure a skilled and capable workforce to support growth and job creation. He then announced a plan to increase the training of 16-25 year olds in further education and training facilities to provide a second chance at education, for those who do not qualify for university.

The government is working with higher education institutions to ensure that eligible students obtain financial assistance, through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, he said.

He also announced that the government has set ambitious targets for skills development, to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified mathematics and science teachers.

Zuma also stressed that the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors, should be increased.

To read the full State of the Nation Address on IOL Click Here!

Sweeping changes announced for South African schools

From 2009 every Grade 9 pupil in South Africa will be writing a national certificate whether they are leaving school or not. This was one of five major policy changes announced by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor recently.

Other changes include proposals to:

  • Lower teacher pupil ratios(reduced class sizes);
  • Rearrange districts into smaller more manageable areas;
  • Get Internet into every school in the country by 2013; and,
  • Expand Further Education and Training Colleges.

To read more go to the Pretoria News article by Clicking Here!