DHET Launches Green Paper for Post-school Education & Training

Front Page Looking For… Post-school Education & Training – including TVET DHET Launches Green Paper for Post-school Education & Training

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    In 2009, when the education department was split into two departments representing Basic and Higher Education, the scene was set for a vision of a comprehensive post-school education and training system.  This Green Paper opens the debate on exactly what that landscape should comprise.

    The problems are well known – approximately 3 million adults between 18 and 24 who are not in education, training or work – known internationally as NEETS; variable quantity and quality of provision, high drop out and failure rates.

    This week the tragic death at the University of Johannesburg of Gloria Sekwele – a mother concerned to obtain registration for her son at the institution highlighted again how deperate young people are to obtain  an education.

    Minister Nzimande made it clear that the system should be able to service those who have been to school – successfully or not, and those who have never been to school.  Additionally, the system should allow articulation between studies and institutions.

    The ultimate result must be to meet the needs of the economy, and to deal with the apartheid legacies of discrimination and exclusion.  

    In addition to universities, FET colleges, and the Setas the Green Paper introduces Community Education and Training Centres (CETCs), an Institute for Vocational and Continuing Education & Training (SAIVCET), and envisages an expansion of distance education.

    This group is created for a central discussion point when members have read the Green Paper and want to express their opinion or suggestions, and contribute to the debate.  This is not government policy – it is a discussion document.


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    I am somewhat puzzled as to Nzimande’s remarks about meeting the needs of the economy as well as deal with the apartheid legacies of discrimination and exclusion. This is particularly puzzling and disturbing that a so called educated leader in education has lost sight of the problem that is associated with higher education of 3 million adults between 18 and 24, whom, I must stress were not subject to apartheid legacies of discrimination and exclusion since this country became a so called democracy in 1994 thereby making these 3 million young adults too young to form part of the educational systems in schools or be exposed to discrimination or exclusion. Isn’t it about time that so called learned individuals realise and admit that the inadequacies of the youth in this country cannot be blamed on apartheid, but lies more in the culture of today’s youth. It is individuals like him, whom of which I feel are extremely dangerous in their zealousness, that have created a culture in the youth that of one’s entitlement of an education instead of something that is earned and paid for. Even under the apartheid regime, higher education was for the select few that could afford it and that obviously achieved excellence in schools to be accepted, there was no special dispensation that a university pass could be dropped down to the barest % just to allow the perceived disadvantaged student entry. Entry levels were set high irrespective of race or creed, so that if you did not make the grade you did not make the numbers. Is it not about time that so called educated individuals be honest in their assumptions and encourage education for those that warrant it or can handle it instead of blaming the inadequacies of certain youths’  and their entitlement ethos from entering higher educational institutions on apartheid and discrimination, that has now worn a bit thin.


    Hi Elfrieda, I don’t want to mislead you.  The words “discrimination” and “exclusion” were my words to describe the situation that Minister Nzimande was explaining as the problem.  That is that the life chances are still markedly different for the different groups, that the proportion of the black African population in higher education is still lower than of other groups.  He was not specifically blaming apartheid for the 3 million unemployed youth – it is a figure from a Ford Foundation research study commissioned by the department.  However, although he did not say this, it is clear from all news reports internationally, that youth have been disproportionately affected by the current economic climate – that is not a specific South African issue, it exists in the States, the middle east, Europe, and elsewhere. 

    On the subject of access to education, he referred to the freedom charter which uses different wording to the Constitution, which gives a right basic education.  That does not specifically mention free education, but the Freedom Charter does give an expectation of bursaries for those deserving of the education but who cannot afford it.  I  believe that many countries have the expectation of their state to provide education for those of ability or potential who are not able to afford education.  That is simply the national objective to maximise their human resources potential.  Minister Nzimande mentioned a proposal that there should be a loan scheme for those who earn too much to qualify for NSFAS support for their children.  So he was not promising free education for all – although he did ruefully admit that he had previously suggested that.  

    Ashwell Glasson

    Good morning Sylvia, I am working up an analysis on the Green Paper and will share it via this group and the Association of ODTEP Practitioners Group via Des as well.


    Thanks Ashwell.  In addition to the overall analysis, I believe that there is sufficient content for us to develop a number of articles/papers.  I look forward to your document.  Let’s see what we can work at and maybe publish here and in other media.  I am particularly interested in the minimal mention of RPL and would like to develop some discussion on that aspect.  I’m thinking that identifying “themes” within the document would be beneficial and developing focused debate around each theme. I look forward to your input – and I’m hoping that everyone reads the document over the weekend.

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