We’ll the voting is over and the counting is well under way. As everyone expected the ANC will form the next government, with the DA set to take control in the Western Cape.
What can we expect from the next national government? The skills development framework is unlikely to see any significant changes, with the establishment of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations already set in motion.
Labour brokers are likely to be the focus of the next Labour Minister who will be expected to follow up on the manifesto pledge to severely curtail the practise.
In the Education field the major issue being debated has been whether to split the Education Department. Some have called for one department for schools and the other for further and higher education.
There’s always the possibility of combing the Labour Department’s skills initiatives into a new department with further and higher education. A national ‘Skills Ministry’ sounds like it would be a good idea, but we are unlikely to see it.
The UK for example has a ministry of Education and Skills where they co-ordinate work on developing the skills that the economy needs.
The Jipsa initiative has seen representatives of the Departments of Education and Labour serving on the committee together and actually having to talk to each other. This seems to have been very successful and probably helped us get to the joint ministerial statement which lead to the establishment of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. This brought an end to an impasse of many years over the future of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Which just shows the progress that can be made when people sit down and talk, and find a common way forward.
This could be assisted by combining the officials from both departments into a common department. But its a farily courageous decision to tinker with the status quo – most politicians try to steer clear of courageous decisions.
There’s also the question of political influence and power. Current Education Minister, and ANC NEC member, Naledi Pandor prefers the Education Department to stay as it is.
We’ll have to wait and see over the coming days who President Zuma calls on to lead these departments and whether there will be any changes to the status quo.