Assessment & Moderation

What is the value of ABET/AET training these days?

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    I would like to get thoughts from everyone, on how they feel about Adult Education. Is there any value to it? What value does the education departments place on it, and in that instance, the value that Seta’s place on it as well?  There does not appear to be much discussion on this, on this site.

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    Wilma Manuel

    As an accredited ABET(AET) provider, I speak from experience. Adult Education should be made compulsory in this country!! Learnerships and skills programmes is what the training focus is on, yet if learners are not literate nor numerate, how can we expect them to succeed in further training ? The mistake we are making, at large, is that we are building the house of lifelong learning on a foundation that certainly is not solid, hence the dismal throughput rates. The business communication language- English, is certainly not the mother tongue of majority of our learners, so yes, they are challenged. Learners need to be fluent in fundamentals before they can be fluent in sector specific terminology! We should be concentrating on the fundamentals first, before all the other training interventions, so that we can improve the quality of training thereby increasing our throughput rates!


    Hello Marco

    There is massive value in Adult Education and Training and there is LOTS of evidence of this. It addresses a wide spectrum of adults and the fundamental skills, from those who are illiterate and innumerate (yes there are still a LARGE number) to matriculants and qualified employees who want to upgrade certain areas such as Maths. This said, if it is facilitated as a stand-alone, purely academic course, employees are disadvantaged in the sense that there is no experiential element at all. AET needs to be relevant, updated and interesting as well as address the foundational skills. It needs to live and be “funky” and there is no need to spend too many hours in the classroom to achieve NQF 1.

    You will surprised at how may workplaces and some Training Providers try to by-pass AET and “get on with other training.” My question in such instances is, would you let your child drive on the free-way having had no driving lessons? Learners who are semi-literate and semi-numerate feel inadequate and downright scared like an unlearnered child driving on a free-way. If they feel this way they work this way. We are kidding ourselves if we think South Africa can be successful while we leave so many people incompetent in the foundational levels. We have many wonderful examples of learners who have gone through their ABET/AET and who are now supervisors, managers,who have received other promotions at work and who are in FET and HET Training Programmes.

    Looking forward to the other comments!


    From my personal experience, I’ve seen the difference it can make to individual’s lives and I agree absolutely with the previous comments – it should be given a higher priority.  Although having said that some of the early providers have left a bad taste in the mouth and disillusioned employers – recent experience indicates that there have been improvements.

    Des Squire

    Adult basic education and training commonly known as ABET but misconstrued by many as Numeracy and literacy training is of vital importance. The problem of course is that many HR practitioners have never taken the time to study what is involved with the result numeracy and literacy is all that is offered to the learners. I have met with many practitioners who mistakenly believe they have trained their employees up to ABET level 4. when I point out that the various levels of ABET training are in fact full qualifications thye are shocked and dismayed at having been misled by unscrupulous providers who offer ABET training. (no offence intended to anyone in particular) If we for instance consider the GETC in ABET (71751) we see it is made up of Fundamental, Core and Elective components just like any othe qualification. The fundamental component is Language, Literacy and communication. Consider however what the learner misses out on when the full qualification is not offered

    The Core consists of Life Orientation Unit Standards which are all compulsory in order to gain the full qulaification.
    ID 14656; Demonstrate an understanding of sexuality and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS; 5 credits.

    ID 14659; Demonstrate an understanding of factors that contribute towards healthy living; 4 credits.

    ID 14664; Demonstrate knowledge of diversity within different relationships in the South African society; 3 credits.

    ID 14569; Demonstrate an understanding of how to participate effectively in the workplace; 3 credits.

    ID 14661; Demonstrate knowledge of self in order to understand one’s identity and role within the immediate community and South African society; 3 credits.

    ID 15092; Plan and manage personal finances; 5 credits.

    ID 113966; Identify security, safety and environmental risks in the local environment; 6 credits.

    ID 15091; Plan to manage one’s time; 3 credits.

    So if ABET is to be offered let’s be fair to the learner and lets enscourage companies to offer the full qualification.

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