Latest DHET Documents published for comment 11

Skills-universe members will be interested to see two documents published for comment:

DHET National Policy on Continuing Education Colleges GG38924 gon569 for comment

This document is a must read for everyone working in the area of AET. It explains the administrative and legal context of positioning all this under DHET and within communities, and as an additional educational institutional type within the Post-school Education and Training (PSET) landscape.

The policy addresses those who remain the most disadvantaged – youth and adults who remain outside of the formal economy and outside of access to the advantages that education provides. It explores a more pragmatic flexible approach to learning for these disadvantaged groups and proposes the  Community Education and Training Centre (CETC) and Community Learning Centres (CLC) as a further supplement to the TVET colleges – addressing those who don’t want or need a formal qualification but could usually apply certain skills.

The document is extremely easy to read, very logically set out with the context, purpose, and process for establishment of these institutions.  Issues of staffing and the programme offerings are covered.

If you are interested in education and training, skills development, transformation, reducing poverty and unemployment, and making South Africa work better, please take the time to read this document and comment.


DHET Standard for Approval for Research at Public Colleges GG38950_gen494 for comment 

This document anticipates the desire and requirement for research to be undertaken at the new institutions described above.  The document sets out the requirements, the application forms, the ethical considerations, and the reporting requirements on research approved, undertaken, or refused.  

Both documents are well worth your time – and of course if you can make critical comment – all the better.

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11 thoughts on “Latest DHET Documents published for comment

  • Steve Short

    I wanted to post a video and then realised that it’s probably too big.  So, if you get a chance Lin and Sylvia (and others), might be interested in watching what small (and very poor) children in rural communities in India have been doing.  I know that Cas Olivier (who shared it with me) won’t mind if I spread the love.  I will stretch your thinking about about ‘an educational revolution’ and is well worth watching if you have 20 or so minutes to spare.  Apologies if you have seen this before 🙂

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Thank you for that explanation Lin.  

    I cannot agree with you more on the need for tailored content for adults and youth.  From my experience of adults in the workplace it’s one of the reason that they are so reluctant to admit to lack of literacy – that the content is just like ‘school” whereas they have adult experience and competences that could so easily be recognised.

    I completely fail to understand why we have taken so long to provide this essential first step on the NQF ladder for intelligent capable adults, who just need material tailored to their needs – and recognising their life experience.

    It’s one of the reasons why I have been so keen to see this community college concept implemented. 

  • Lin Helme

    Hi Sylvia  NASCA is to be the National Senior Certificate for Adults, theoretically replacing the school Matric system.  It was supposed to be in place some time ago but has been delayed and we are still not sure when it will be implemented.  For many of us the challenge is that the curriculum just mimics the school system.  It seems like no thought has gone into considering what adults and NEETs really need for their development.  I have skimmed through the proposed curriculum and the number of hours proposed for “classes” as well as notional hours will be beyond many people.  We see people daily who are desperate for the qualification, just to simply apply for a basic level job or get promotion at work but they struggle with the curriculum and the subjects with which they find little synergy.  There is a need to find alternative ways to determine competency.  NEETs who have dropped out of the school system also require an alternative approach.  We talk of our political revolution, the need for a social revolution – what about an educational revolution?

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Thank you Lin for raising the implementation issue.  I read this weekend of an AET centre just close to where I live that was experiencing this issue of lack of payment and the possibility of closing.  Nationally we do seem to be very competent at strategy and policy and not yet entirely competent on delivery.

    I have noticed in another context that tertiary educated persons in key decision-making roles may over-estimate their understanding of conditions on the ground.  It is critical to respect everyone’s experience – whether they have the benefit of a tertiary qualification or not.

    I am not familiar with NASCA – please may I impose on you to explain further on this.

  • Lin Helme

    As someone who has worked in AET for 25 years, in an NGO, but strongly linked to the dept I have to say that the documents look OK but the delivery is something about which to be concerned.  The transition of AET to DHET has not gone smoothly, educators and Centre Managers have gone without pay for up to 3 months, some are still not paid.  There is little clarity and communication about how the system will be developed in reality.  NGOs are regarded as “private providers” which gives a completely wrong interpretation of their role in development and education.  The very words used – principals  for instance – in the set up of the colleges already gives concern re a rigid and bureaucratic system that is run like the schools and will not understand the dynamic issues involved in lifelong learning and community development.  Non formal learning is a crucial aspect of the proposed colleges but already the dept is determining qualification frameworks for educators that will cut out many who work in this sector, it is doing so even with established AET educators.

    Another issue is NASCA.  It was supposed to be an alternative curriculum for adults.  I do not see that, it is just another academic syllabus that will fail many of the youth and adults who dropped out of the established mainstream school system.  We need to think education and training differently for NEETS and adult learners.  There seem to be few discussions or engagements with those who work on the ground and have the daily struggle to make systems work.  I am deeply concerned that the colleges, however nicely the documents are written out, will not meet the needs of the people, especially when there seems to be no real budget for the system either. Aluta continua, continua, continua for those of us in AET.

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Hi Steve, I realise that many South Africans regard “socialist” as being negative.  

    However, I have always personally supported the position that individuals should be able to be educated to the level of their ability – regardless of their position in society or family assets.  That is a socialist position.

    I would characterise what we have as social democratic – rather akin to much of what exists in Europe.  

    I agree certainly if the taxpayers are providing an institution, then we do want to know where the money is going.  

    As with my response to James I read this to be a more collaborative pulling together all the potential services in a community to maximise the access and the impact.  To a large extent it seems to imply a working together – and that’s probably up to the players to both contribute and protect their own institutional success.    

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Hi James, I’m not sure if I am correct on this interpretation, but I read the community college concept to be located within the community, to allow ease of access for those underprivileged in the community, and to involve/harness all those who work in that community – regardless of whether state, NGO, or private. So there is not a need to differentiate between public and private policy – but rather is should be complementary. As with Renee’s comment – there are also faith-based organisations with the local communities. 

  • James O'Donoghue

    I am not directly involved in this band of higher education. However, I am wondering  will there then be a separate policy document addressing similar issues for private instutitions? And if it is planned, would the private providers be part of this developing of such a policy documents? And if not, why not?

  • Steve Short

    Thank you Sylvia.  I have not had a chance to study the policy in detail, but in scanning through it, the following caught my eye:

    Sect 12A Principal of a Community Education and Training College shall be appointed by the Minister on the organisational structure of the DHET as a Member of the Senior Management Service (SMS)…; and
    Sect 13The Minister shall determine the post establishment of a Community Education and Training College and a policy for the post provisioning norms for the employment of staff…

    How could a private provider/NGO interface and connect with government to provide these services?  Pardon me for if I am getting this wrong, but IMHO this seems to resonate with communist/socialist ideology.  I do get it that if government funding provided for this, there needs to be reporting, but should the Minister control day-to-day operations as well?  

    If a provider/NGO has put blood sweat and tears into establishing their enterprise, do they want to hand over executive control to a government appointed official and be dictated to in terms of how their entity should be structured and staffed?  Or is it simply a case of Private Providers/NGO’s not being included?  I just don’t know so I’m putting it out there.     

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Hi Renee, that does sound like an excellent project.  Helping people to deal better with their daily lives, and resolve problems, is always beneficial to them and their families. 

  • Renee' McGibbon

    Thank you so much Sylvia. My business partners and I in my new business venture will be very interested in this as it is our goal to uplift interested members of our community Churches and immediate surrounding  communities with the knowledge and skills needed to provide basic health care, care of the aged and disabled first aid, fire fighting etc in their communities. Our training is grounded in Christ and we hope to be able to combine our skills development with spiritual guidance.

    Thank you once again for keeping us informed. The Skills Universe is the best source of information in our field!