Draft Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning for public comment

Front Page Looking For… Occupationally Directed Education, Training and Development Practices Draft Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning for public comment

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    Des Squire

    Attached is a copy of the Government notice on the draft policy on RPL. Public comment has been called for and the details are contained in the document. Now is the time to take an active and positive role by making comment or providing ideas and suggestions. Over to you.

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    Marius Lubbe

    Thanks for the heads-up Des.



    6.5 a). ‘

    The RPL policy should

    allow a minimum of 5% of students who access the institution to do so through the

    RPL route;’

    How should this be understood in terms of BBBEE targets? Further clarification is needed. This places yet another burden on providers. One proposal is that RPL should assume initiative on the part of the candidate and should not be the responsibility of the provider to prove, but only to verify prior learning.

    Thank you for the invitation to comment.


    Morne Mostert

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    Hannes Nel

    The Draft Recognition of Prior Learning (PRL) Policy is, in my opinion, a very good foundation for the promotion of RPL and lifelong learning. I could find only one flaw, namely that specifying that “a minimum of 5% of students who access the institution to do so through the RPL route” is probably not scientifically founded and should, therefore, not be in a policy document.
    An omission in the document is that no provision is made for the education and training of RPL practitioners. Mentornet developed a curriculum for an Advanced Diploma in Education: Recognition of Prior Learning. We first consulted with SAQA to ensure that it meets the curriculum format requirements for registration. We also did the necessary scoping, both internationally and with local experts.
    Professor Erwin Seyfried of the University of Berlin, who is an expert in RPL and quality assurance, gave the following feedback: “Your “holistic approach” is coherent, the analyses of existing barriers and implications is convincing, in particular I appreciated your proposals for implementation, with the deep and clear description of procedures and plans and preconditions for effective RPL administration.”
    Sadly one of the members of the South African MTT RPL, who is also a professor at one of our universities, responded rather coldly when I discussed the qualification and manual with her.
    Fortunately a second professor, also a member of the MTT RPL, responded enthusiastically, writing that she can’t wait to enroll students on the course.
    I also sent a copy of the book to Mr Joe Samuels, who thanked me for the copy but never responded further.
    Mentornet applied to have the qualification registered (on the NQF) and we also applied for accreditation to offer the qualification. The process is taking rather long, but we have no choice but to wait.
    In closing, I would like to mention that any learning institution, private or public, will be allowed to offer the qualification once it is registered on the NQF. The only preconditions are, of course, that the learning institution must have the capacity and be accredited by the CHE to offer it.

    Des Squire

    Thank you for sharing this with us Hannes.

    As with the whole issue of RPL – these things all seem to take an eternity.

    Can you imagine how many (historically disadvantaged individuals)might have benefited already if the powers that be just made decisions and took some form of action. I have always supported RPL and have always questioned why so little was being done about getting it up and running. Perhaps in another two or three years we will see some results.  

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