Globalization and technological innovation are changing the labour market. The economy is becoming more and more knowledge-intensive. The question is: Does training providers prepare their students for the workplace? The focus is often too much on knowledge and not on generic skills.
The NQF in SA was introduced in 1995, aiming to address the educational, social and economic problems caused by apartheid. In the apartheid years many blacks were deprived of the opportunity to education and/ or proper education. Models of other countries had an influence on the design.
A comprehensive framework of eight levels was developed, but the NQF act of 2008 makes provision for ten levels. The purpose is to ensure coherence in learning achievement and to facilitate the assessment. International trends were taken in to consideration.
There are ten level descriptors to describe the applied competencies:
Scope of knowledge, knowledge literacy, method & procedure, problem solving, ethics and professional practice, assessing/processing/ managing information, producing & communicating of information, context & systems, management of learning and accountability.
These ten descriptors are a very good starting point to determine generic skills. The descriptors must be applied in the different contexts.
It will be interesting to hear what other people’s views are on what generic skills should be taught and when this should start. My personal opinion is that this should start already in the pre-school years and at home!