The Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande has kicked off this year with a strong message regarding how the 2010 matriculants are going to be supported in the higher education and trainingsystem. Yesterday’s speech by the minister has outlined specific opportunitiesfor matriculants and what options they can pursue in developing themselves. It makes for good reading and reflection and provides us education and training professionals with some greater sense of direction as to the Ministers intent for the year. What does definitely show is the focus on resourcing the public higher education and training landscape; specifically the provision of bursaries, more faculty and programme-specific attention and a greater alignment between the learnership system and the FET colleges. Another key element is the re-invigoration of the phased out career guidance system, returning it to the education landscape, where it should have always been placed to assist young people in their career and education choices. Enjoy the speech. My best, Ashwell
10 Jan 2011
The Acting Director-General
Senior Managers from the Department of Higher Education and Training
Representatives from South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
Members of the media
I would like to congratulate all the learners from the Class of 2010 who havepassed the National Senior Certificate examinations. The National SeniorCertificate is the culmination of one phase of education and an entry point toopportunities and options for the future.
For those who have not performed as well as they had hoped, I urge them to not losehope, as learning is a life-long experience. There are other options and theseshould be explored actively by learners. For those who do not want to repeattheir matric examinations, there are alternative options available in thepost-school system which I will elaborate on in this statement. I urge youngpeople to explore their options to find the most suitable path for their needsand talents in 2011 and beyond.
In 2010, the Department of Higher Education and Training provided 184 547learning opportunities through Further Education and Training Colleges,Universities, learnerships and short skills programmes. 364 513 learners of theClass of 2010 achieved their National Senior Certificate. This highlights theextent of the challenge facing us in providing learning or work opportunitiesfor all the new matriculants.
I am pleased to announce that the number of learning opportunities in 2011 willincrease by a further 103 940 bringing the total opportunities to be created in2011 to 288 487. This represents a significant increase of 56% when compared to2010. It is envisaged that this will make a significant indent on the number ofstudents who have achieved a matric and can now take advantage of learningopportunities.
This government is determined to provide education, training and skillsdevelopment opportunities for all post-school youth. Projects of the NationalSkills Fund and the National Skills Development Strategy 3 that I will beunveiling later this week will contribute to addressing this matter. Youngpeople who are not in employment, education or training are also encouraged toconsider the opportunities created through the Expanded Public Works Programme(EPWP), the National Youth Service and the SA National Defence Force. We knowthat we have to provide for every young person who requires employment,education or training opportunities.
The number of learners who have passed and met the minimum requirements foradmission to Bachelor Degree studies has increased to 126 371 in 2010 from 109 697in 2009. This means that 23.5% of those who wrote matric in 2010 passed and metthe minimum requirements for admission to Bachelor degree studies when comparedto 19.9% in 2009, an increase of 18,1%.
While we recognise that many of these students will enter university, there arealso other options for them which may include training as artisans at FETColleges or registering for learnerships through the SETA system, participatingin the National Skills Fund programmes, joining the South African NationalDefence Force as part of its Military Development Programme, participating inthe Expanded Public Works Programme or even taking a gap year before decidingon what to do next.
The admissions processes of our public institutions and the allocation of opportunitiesby SETAs and the National Skills Fund have been on full alert to respond to thedemand for post school education and training. The department is workingclosely with the universities and colleges to ensure that every student has afair chance of access in order to pursue their dreams.
Our country needs skills
The post-school system responds to the need for skills in the country and thefollowing broad areas have been identified as critical areas for further studyat either university or college level:
animal and human health sciences
natural and physical sciences
There are also many other opportunities for study in the social sciences,humanities, business studies, information technology and other areas. There isparticularly a strong need in our country for artisans and technicians in avariety of areas.
The public post-school system provides a variety of pathways for study in allthese areas which I will now talk about.
Learners who have passed the National Senior Certificate examinations with‘Admission to Bachelor’s Degree’ are eligible to enter any university for anunder-graduate course of study, but this will be dependent on each university’sadmission requirements. Learners with passes allowing for admission to Diplomaor Certificate studies quality for entry into programmes which are offeredmainly at Comprehensive Universities or Universities of Technology. For furtherinformation on these options, learners can contact the call centre on 0800 872222 or review the options on the Career Advice website at http://www.careerhelp.org.za.Information can also be obtained at individual universities.
Public Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges
There are 50 Further Education and Training Colleges spread across allprovinces of South Africa comprising of over 240 campuses or teaching sites.Public FET colleges offer vocational training courses and qualifications atvarious levels of study for learners who have a Grade 9 pass/certificate, anNQF level 1 qualification or a Grade 12 certificate.
College students may enroll for a National Certificate (Vocational) or NCV inthe following areas:
Economics and Accounting
Safety in Society
Education and Management
Engineering and Related Design
Civil Engineering and Building Construction
Drawing Office Practice, Process and Operations
Electrical Infrastructure Construction
Information Technology and Computer Science.
FET Colleges also offer courses (the NATED or ‘N’ Courses) which, combined withpractical work, lead to a qualification as an artisan in a wide variety ofdesperately needed skills. Examples include trades such as plumber,electrician, motor mechanic, fitter and turner, carpenter, boilermaker, welderand many others. Not every college offers all the possible courses and so moreinformation should be sought from the colleges themselves.
Learners who require additional information on the offerings of Public FETcolleges and the location of FET college campuses across the country shouldcontact the Department of Higher Education and Training call centre on 080 0872222 or (012) 312 5878. They can also get information on the Career Advicewebsite (http://www.careerhelp.org.za)where contact details and addresses of colleges and other FET collegeinformation is available.
Learners can register at FET colleges at different times during the year, assome courses are offered on a semester or trimester basis. The firstregistration period for 2011 is during January.
This past Saturday, in his 8 January statement, President Jacob Zuma, gavean indication of the approach that will be adopted by this administration inimplementing the resolution of the ANC 52 National Conference to graduallyintroduce free education for the poor to undergraduate level. Starting from the2011 academic year, those students who qualify for assistance from the NationalStudent Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will receive an award to cover the cost oftheir studies.
Final year students will be offered the additional incentive of the award forthe final year being converted to a full bursary if they complete all therequirements for graduation in the same year. This will encourage final yearstudents to focus on their studies. This model will be phased in over the nextfew years to include students in earlier years of study. The precise criteriaunder which the awards will be made will be communicated to the universities inthe next few weeks.
In another important development, indeed path-breaking development from 2011,students in FET Colleges who qualify for financial aid will be exemptedcompletely from paying academic fees. This ought to further ease access to thecolleges for students from poor families as well as help the country to meet itsneeds for intermediate and technical skills.
The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme of the Department of Basic Education, which isadministered by the NSFAS, offers full cost bursaries to capable young peoplewho are interested in serving the country as teachers in priority subjects andphases, particularly in rural and poor schools. In 2011 the scheme will supportapproximately 8 500 new and continuing student teachers across all years ofstudy. Approximately 900 bursaries will be available for first time entrants in2011.
From 2011 onwards, practicing school teachers will also be offered enhancementdevelopment opportunities to improve their knowledge and teaching practicesthrough short courses and qualification programmes offered by universities,non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private providers.
We have also started a process of consolidating all sources of bursary andloans under the banner of NFSAS. NSFAS will be getting the following additionalallocations totaling R150 million from National Skills Fund focusing onaddressing scarce skills:
R22.9 million that is dedicated to funding 820 first year students
R7 million towards a special bursary scheme that targets rural students whohave done exceptionally well in the 2010 Grade 12 examinations
R21 million for 300 first year bursaries for people with disabilities. Mydepartment is committed to promoting access to tertiary education for peoplewith disabilities
The balance of R99.1 million will be for students who are already studying in thesefields.
The NSF will also be allocating R 100 million Career Wise bursaries in thefollowing categories:
R17 million to fund 258 first year students
R4 million for the Dipaleseng Special Bursary Scheme
R4.6 million for 67 first year bursaries to fulfill the commitment I made inhonor of former President Nelson Mandela in Giyani
R11.5 million to support 245 first year students pursuing studies in CharteredAccountancy at the University of Fort Hare.
Information on the NSFAS and Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme can be obtained fromthe call centre on 0800 872 222, the Career Advice website at http://ww.careerhelp.org.za and thewebsites http://www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.zaand http://www.nsfas.co.za
Skills Development Learning Programmes
For learners who wish to enter the world of work, we advise that they considerthe options of learnerships, apprenticeships and other skills programmes basedon various NQF Registered Qualifications. These are funded via the SectorEducation and Training Authorities (SETA). A learnership consists of astructured learning component and includes practical work experience of aspecified nature and duration. An apprenticeship is similar to a learnership inthat learners are required to obtain a relevant N2 certificate at a public FETCollege before undertaking the trade test at the end of an apprenticeship.
Further information on these options can be obtained from the call centre on0800 872 222 or the Career Advice Helpline on 0860 111 673.
Adult Education Centres
Participation in programmes at adult education centres is free and is availablefor young people and adults who have not completed their schooling. A GeneralEducation and Training Certificate (ABET Level 4) or a Grade 12 certificate canbe undertaken at such a centre.
Career Advice Services
For learners who are unsure of which path to follow for their requiredinterests and needs, advice may be obtained via the career advice services atFET Colleges, the career advice website at http://www.careerhelp.org.za or fromthe NQF and Career Advice Helpline on 0860 111 673. The helpline can also becontacted via sms on 072 2045 056 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Post-School Options Information Pack is available on the website, http://ww.careerhelp.org.za, or may beemailed to callers who request the pack from the helpline (0860 111 673 or sms072 2045 056 or email on email@example.com)
Statement issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training, January 102011