RPL, the NQF, and Articulation


Purpose of the NQF

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    • #7297
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Qualifications frameworks are seen as a policy tool to achieve the raising of skills levels, reforming education & training systems and improving qualifications systems.  The research about the impact of the qualifications frameworks is insufficient. 

      It is difficult to understand why countries are investing resources in a mechanism which is under-researched.

      In South Africa the NQF was introduced in 1995, almost 17 years ago. The South African Qualification’s Authority has been commissioned to control the national qualifications framework.

      The NQF aims to create a standardized system on a national level.  Currently it does not meet this aim. 

      Job seekers and employers  are often confused by these NQF levels.  It is a battle to connect a previously achieved qualification on the NQF.

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    • #7323
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      It is really confusing as most companies still believe in Diplomas and Degrees without considering NQF aligned programmes.

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    • #19559
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      It is really confusing as most companies still believe in Diplomas and Degrees without considering NQF aligned programmes.

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    • #38113
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      It is really confusing as most companies still believe in Diplomas and Degrees without considering NQF aligned programmes.

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    • #43270
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      It is really confusing as most companies still believe in Diplomas and Degrees without considering NQF aligned programmes.

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    • #44310
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      It is really confusing as most companies still believe in Diplomas and Degrees without considering NQF aligned programmes.

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    • #7322

      Yes Wilma, I agree…to the average man in the street all this stuff is still quite confusing.

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    • #7321

      I think it’s a bit more than this. It’s not just the man in the street whose confused but anyone involved, fromservice providers, companies and also learners, due to the wholesale changes proposed for the training sector.   I think part of the problem is confusing the outputs desired by organisations that require performance changes by its employees, to the outputs required by Mr Nzimande, where the focus is on the learner and blow the needs of the organisation. The allocation of funding will directly reflect this. Training not leading to a qualification = no allocation of funds.

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    • #7320
      Carl Roodnick
      Participant

      The NQF is also intended to redress post-1994 imbalances which disadvantaged vast members of our population. Could it be that in the plot has been lost along the way?

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    • #7319

      I agree Carl, but if we are going to create a winning nation we must get this right. There is a huge difference between education and training with quite clear outputs for both. There would appear to be a ‘greying’ of the area between them. Mr Nzimande appears (at least to me) to be confusing the needs of the individual (particularly PDI’s) and the needs of organisations that require assistance with fixing problems. Where training and development is seen as a possible solution to performance problems for an organisation, then this is not an ‘education/ qualification’ for the individual situation. The NQF has/ had a clear mandate at inception…this is now extremely blurred. 

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    • #7318
      Joe Samuels
      Participant

      I want to thank Wilma for raising this issue and providing me with the opportunity to respond. The South African context lest who forget: 17 years ago we had 17 different departments of education, training was a completely separate entity. Qualifications were controlled by a huge number of racially different institutions. We now have one qualifications framework comprising 10 levels. We have three quality councils responsible for three sub-framework where all the qualifications are organised on one single framework. Much work needs to be done after 17 years, but to suggest that nothing has been done is a bit unfair. There is a host of research that is available on qualifications frameworks. Currently there are 130 qualifications frameworks operational in the world. One key development is the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) where 38 countries are developing their own qualifications frameworks referenced to the EQF. It is designed to help with the mobility of workers across the european continent.  All of the development are documented in research papers, websites and the like.

      The issue of NQF levels is currently being addressed. In November 2011 SAQA and the Quailty Councils agreed on 10 levels and level descriptors. SAQA will  do roadshows during February/March 2012 and a host of other educational processes to explain both the levels and the descriptors and how it should be corrently used and interpreted.  

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    • #7317

      Good post Wilma followed by some thought provoking comments, particularly the one posted by Neil Harrison

      Its been my experience that the majority of business people I speak to, find the NQF confusing, labour intensive and generally not value adding. 

      I facilitate on some learnerships and almost without exception,  am faced by learners who struggle to make the leap from theory to practical application in the workplace. The key reason for this an almost complete absence of support, coaching and / or feedback from line managers. Without this, the learners are unable to translate their learning into value for the business. Portfolio’s of Evidence are often completed with little learning and less enthusiasm.

      Whilst it is fair to say that some inroads have been made, I do support Wilma’s view that research on the impact of the NQF is insufficient and yet, South Africa as a nation continues to place all faith in it delivering what is required to help address some of the huge challenges in the country. Perhaps its time to do some research in South Africa to establish a meaningful way forward.

      It does seem to me that the spirit of intention at inception seems to have become somewhat buried in red tape, jargon and beaurocracy.

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    • #7316
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Thank you for raising this pivotal point in the training and education system. My opinion is that as long as the universities do not buy into the NQF here in South Africa, the system is just not working. How is it possible that a student can pass, just for example, the subject of Accounting II at UNISA, but when trying to register at Tuks for the third year of his B.Com studies, Tuks does not recognize this subject succesfully passed at UNISA and won’t allow the student to enroll for Accounting III. In other words, there is no common “unit standard” for degree subjects for universities throughout the RSA. Yet when it comes to training for workplace skills programmes, the private training provider must adhere to registered unit standards on the NQF. So let SAQA expalin this double standards and how is it working in the benchmark countries that RSA so quickly use to explain where we are coming from.          

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    • #19558
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Thank you for raising this pivotal point in the training and education system. My opinion is that as long as the universities do not buy into the NQF here in South Africa, the system is just not working. How is it possible that a student can pass, just for example, the subject of Accounting II at UNISA, but when trying to register at Tuks for the third year of his B.Com studies, Tuks does not recognize this subject succesfully passed at UNISA and won’t allow the student to enroll for Accounting III. In other words, there is no common “unit standard” for degree subjects for universities throughout the RSA. Yet when it comes to training for workplace skills programmes, the private training provider must adhere to registered unit standards on the NQF. So let SAQA expalin this double standards and how is it working in the benchmark countries that RSA so quickly use to explain where we are coming from.          

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    • #38112
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Thank you for raising this pivotal point in the training and education system. My opinion is that as long as the universities do not buy into the NQF here in South Africa, the system is just not working. How is it possible that a student can pass, just for example, the subject of Accounting II at UNISA, but when trying to register at Tuks for the third year of his B.Com studies, Tuks does not recognize this subject succesfully passed at UNISA and won’t allow the student to enroll for Accounting III. In other words, there is no common “unit standard” for degree subjects for universities throughout the RSA. Yet when it comes to training for workplace skills programmes, the private training provider must adhere to registered unit standards on the NQF. So let SAQA expalin this double standards and how is it working in the benchmark countries that RSA so quickly use to explain where we are coming from.          

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    • #43269
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Thank you for raising this pivotal point in the training and education system. My opinion is that as long as the universities do not buy into the NQF here in South Africa, the system is just not working. How is it possible that a student can pass, just for example, the subject of Accounting II at UNISA, but when trying to register at Tuks for the third year of his B.Com studies, Tuks does not recognize this subject succesfully passed at UNISA and won’t allow the student to enroll for Accounting III. In other words, there is no common “unit standard” for degree subjects for universities throughout the RSA. Yet when it comes to training for workplace skills programmes, the private training provider must adhere to registered unit standards on the NQF. So let SAQA expalin this double standards and how is it working in the benchmark countries that RSA so quickly use to explain where we are coming from.          

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    • #44309
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Thank you for raising this pivotal point in the training and education system. My opinion is that as long as the universities do not buy into the NQF here in South Africa, the system is just not working. How is it possible that a student can pass, just for example, the subject of Accounting II at UNISA, but when trying to register at Tuks for the third year of his B.Com studies, Tuks does not recognize this subject succesfully passed at UNISA and won’t allow the student to enroll for Accounting III. In other words, there is no common “unit standard” for degree subjects for universities throughout the RSA. Yet when it comes to training for workplace skills programmes, the private training provider must adhere to registered unit standards on the NQF. So let SAQA expalin this double standards and how is it working in the benchmark countries that RSA so quickly use to explain where we are coming from.          

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    • #7315
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Brilliant and valid comments from all.
      SA could have used an already established qualifications framework from another country and built on this. From memory I think it was even offered by a well developed working Australian system. 17 years is a long time and plenty merry go rounds have taken place during this time with exorbitant amounts of money being spent/wasted on lavish roadshows, reinventing the wheel over and again creating confusion across the board, fund misappropriation, massive salaries, 1st class travel in SA and abroad, and the list goes on. Bottom line after 17 years it is not working. A simple, effective system would work but not one dogged with bureaucratic issues and more and more paper and more and more demands, red tape, etc which have not translated into vast skills improvements.
      This is just so sad as companies have suffered through not being able to get skilled staff and learners have been compromised with fragmented learning experiences – neither have been the beneficiary of the exercise.
      Education is vital to motivate and improve the lives of people and a country. Imagine the benefits if all the money used for this process was channeled into free education for all. Many countries have achieved this successfully why not SA?

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    • #19557
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Brilliant and valid comments from all.
      SA could have used an already established qualifications framework from another country and built on this. From memory I think it was even offered by a well developed working Australian system. 17 years is a long time and plenty merry go rounds have taken place during this time with exorbitant amounts of money being spent/wasted on lavish roadshows, reinventing the wheel over and again creating confusion across the board, fund misappropriation, massive salaries, 1st class travel in SA and abroad, and the list goes on. Bottom line after 17 years it is not working. A simple, effective system would work but not one dogged with bureaucratic issues and more and more paper and more and more demands, red tape, etc which have not translated into vast skills improvements.
      This is just so sad as companies have suffered through not being able to get skilled staff and learners have been compromised with fragmented learning experiences – neither have been the beneficiary of the exercise.
      Education is vital to motivate and improve the lives of people and a country. Imagine the benefits if all the money used for this process was channeled into free education for all. Many countries have achieved this successfully why not SA?

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    • #38111
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Brilliant and valid comments from all.
      SA could have used an already established qualifications framework from another country and built on this. From memory I think it was even offered by a well developed working Australian system. 17 years is a long time and plenty merry go rounds have taken place during this time with exorbitant amounts of money being spent/wasted on lavish roadshows, reinventing the wheel over and again creating confusion across the board, fund misappropriation, massive salaries, 1st class travel in SA and abroad, and the list goes on. Bottom line after 17 years it is not working. A simple, effective system would work but not one dogged with bureaucratic issues and more and more paper and more and more demands, red tape, etc which have not translated into vast skills improvements.
      This is just so sad as companies have suffered through not being able to get skilled staff and learners have been compromised with fragmented learning experiences – neither have been the beneficiary of the exercise.
      Education is vital to motivate and improve the lives of people and a country. Imagine the benefits if all the money used for this process was channeled into free education for all. Many countries have achieved this successfully why not SA?

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    • #43268
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Brilliant and valid comments from all.
      SA could have used an already established qualifications framework from another country and built on this. From memory I think it was even offered by a well developed working Australian system. 17 years is a long time and plenty merry go rounds have taken place during this time with exorbitant amounts of money being spent/wasted on lavish roadshows, reinventing the wheel over and again creating confusion across the board, fund misappropriation, massive salaries, 1st class travel in SA and abroad, and the list goes on. Bottom line after 17 years it is not working. A simple, effective system would work but not one dogged with bureaucratic issues and more and more paper and more and more demands, red tape, etc which have not translated into vast skills improvements.
      This is just so sad as companies have suffered through not being able to get skilled staff and learners have been compromised with fragmented learning experiences – neither have been the beneficiary of the exercise.
      Education is vital to motivate and improve the lives of people and a country. Imagine the benefits if all the money used for this process was channeled into free education for all. Many countries have achieved this successfully why not SA?

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    • #44308
      Skills Universe
      Keymaster

      Brilliant and valid comments from all.
      SA could have used an already established qualifications framework from another country and built on this. From memory I think it was even offered by a well developed working Australian system. 17 years is a long time and plenty merry go rounds have taken place during this time with exorbitant amounts of money being spent/wasted on lavish roadshows, reinventing the wheel over and again creating confusion across the board, fund misappropriation, massive salaries, 1st class travel in SA and abroad, and the list goes on. Bottom line after 17 years it is not working. A simple, effective system would work but not one dogged with bureaucratic issues and more and more paper and more and more demands, red tape, etc which have not translated into vast skills improvements.
      This is just so sad as companies have suffered through not being able to get skilled staff and learners have been compromised with fragmented learning experiences – neither have been the beneficiary of the exercise.
      Education is vital to motivate and improve the lives of people and a country. Imagine the benefits if all the money used for this process was channeled into free education for all. Many countries have achieved this successfully why not SA?

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    • #7314

      It all starts with determining training needs. Nobody bothers to find out what exactly is required, then because professionals are not paid to write unit standards, the job is not done properly. The nest result is that 17 years down the track there is still no unit standards to cover on-job instruction and training and the handling of grievances! The unit standards for the handling of discipline are inadequate and it is therefore no wonder that the CCMA and bargaining councils are innundated with unfair dismissals and unfair labour practices! The worst part of the whole system is that nobody is prepared to accept responsibility, I have communicated with the Services Seta, SAQA and the SABPP asking them address the problem inadequate unit standards for managers and supervisors. Everyone agrees that there is a problem but nobody is prepared to address the problem!!

       

      Bruno Bruniquel

      Bruniquel & Associatres (Pty) Ltd

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    • #7313

      Gitta, you hit the nail bang on the head!

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    • #7312

      Wilma I totally agree. However “reply on discussions” does not allow sufficient space to expand on the short falls. According to a commentator the situation before 1994 was in a bad state and has now improved: 17 departments have been reduced to 10 levels but to me the same level of said confusion that existed pre 1994 is still existent to date.

      Iwas a national examiner for 13 “light current” subjects (3 examinations per year) for a period of 15 years. The same examination paper was written by Dept Nat. Education, Dept Black education, Department Indian Education and Dept Coloured Education at the rate of around 2700 scripts per session. Average pass rate of the 4 leading departments was 72.53%. All who passed qualified at N2, N3, N4, N5 or N6 levels. This was a qualification recognised and accepted by everyone concerned and was not debated.

      Seta roadshows all end up with comments  “nice show”, “good food”, “we will implementing…” and all go home to carry on with daily tasks and no further action. The “tommorows” are going to be very busy days

      Unless all those concerned with Education, Training and NQF reach concensus on what needs to be done in this country based on a clearly defined understanding of what the three terms “Training” “Education” and “Development” mean confusion and extremley slow progress (which cannot be afforded) will remain.

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    • #7311

      Francois Alberts said:

      Wilma I totally agree. However “reply on discussions” does not allow sufficient space to expand on the short falls. According to a commentator the situation before 1994 was in a bad state and has now improved: 17 departments have been reduced to 10 levels but to me the same level of said confusion that existed pre 1994 is still existent to date.

      Iwas a national examiner for 13 “light current” subjects (3 examinations per year) for a period of 15 years. The same examination paper was written by Dept Nat. Education, Dept Black education, Department Indian Education and Dept Coloured Education at the rate of around 2700 scripts per session. Average pass rate of the 4 leading departments was 72.53%. All who passed qualified at N2, N3, N4, N5 or N6 levels. This was a qualification recognised and accepted by everyone concerned and was not debated.

      Seta roadshows all end up with comments  “nice show”, “good food”, “we will implementing…” and all go home to carry on with daily tasks and no further action. The “tomorrows” are going to be very busy days

      Unless all those concerned with Education, Training and NQF reach concensus on what needs to be done in this country based on a clearly defined understanding of what the three terms “Training” “Education” and “Development” mean confusion and extremley slow progress (which cannot be afforded) will remain.

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    • #7310
      Joe Samuels
      Participant

      It is simply unwise to import a system from elsewhere, particularly education and training systems. There are many good examples of where this was tried it failed dismally.The majority of business people I speak to supports the NQF. I agree that there must be support for learners in the workplace otherwise learnerships will not work. We run learnerships in our organisation and some of our learnership candidates have progressed to the level of deputy director with proper support. I still hold the view that there is ample research that was done for example SAQA organised a series of NQF conferences over the last number of years – all of these papers are available.  I agree that much more work should be done!

      Universities as a system has bought into the NQF as evidenced by the higher education qualifications framework which is an integral part of the NQF. Universities has an constitutional right to acedmic freedom and autonomy which allows them to decide who they want to allow into their institutions. I will be happy to take up the specific issue that you are raising please email me the details at jsamuels@saqa.co.za or you can phone our helpline at 0860 111 673.

      My understanding is that lots of work has been done to determine training needs, as well as that there are standards for conflict resolution. Bad practice does not necessarily point to bad training or no standards. Please contact me around the specifics with regards to the conflict resolution unit standards. (See contact details above)

      I said that we had “17 racially divided education departments and training was separate. We now have one framework of qualifications”. I am still amazed that we have individuals who try and tell us how good it was in the past. I respectfully disagree with you!    We can certainly be more effective and efficent so this is a point well made.

       

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    • #7309
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      I am overwhelmed by all the responses to my blog about the NQF.  I am currently busy with my masters in ‘Adult Education & Globalisation”.  My next task is focusing on the NQF’s of SA, NZeeland and Canada.  All your responses provided me with valuable information and also different view points.

      At this stage I am not even sure if Canada has a NQF. 

      Regards, Wilma

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    • #7308
      Joe Samuels
      Participant

      Canada does not have an NQF yet! Try Mexico!

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    • #7307
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Thanks, Joe. 

      I’ve seen they have a quality management system.  I read an article on  the NQF’s in 16 countries, but according to that article Mexico does not have a NQF.  They have many years experience in the development of a Labour Competence Framework which shares aims and characteristics with many NQF’s. 

      I also read that there is about a 100 countries that implemented or are trying to implement a NQF.

      I believe that all the training providers and quality assurance bodies in a country should work together and determine one NQF.

      Before starting with this process, first do proper research to find out what went wrong with the previous/ current NQF’s.

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    • #7306
      Joe Samuels
      Participant

      Wilma, I am not sure what you are busy reading, but I met the person who is driving the NQF process in Mexico. Secondly, it depends how one defines an NQF. Most countries don’t have a comprehensive NQF like South Africa, but they have an qualifications framework that focuses on the labour market or on technical vocational education and tranining. There are presently over 130 countries that are implementing NQFs across the world. There are lots of research that has been done on why qualifications frameworks are working or not. Some people are NQF sceptics and others are NQF proponents. So, depending on whose research you read you get to a different answer. There are successful models and there are specific formulas that some people are putting forward. All of this stuff is freely available. 

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    • #7305
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Hi, Joe

      I am reading “The implementation and impact of National Qualifications Frameworks:  Report of a study in 16 countries” compiled by the Skills and Employability Department(International Labour Office, Geneva), 2010.  Author is Stephanie Allias.

      I would like to know about references (articles, websites) that could give clarity on this matter.

      I’ll appreciate it if you could give me more info.  Regards, Wilma

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    • #7304
      Joe Samuels
      Participant

      This is an NQF phobic piece of research and argues that the only successful model is the scottish qualifications framework. We did a more balanced seminar in November last  year and are presently working on a bulletin to publish the papers. As soon as it is available I will let you know. We also produced a special bulletin that is available on the SAQA website that gives a more balanced view. Here is the link: http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/pubs/bulletins/bullvol12_2.pdf Regards Joe 

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    • #7303
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Highly appreciated, Joe!

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    • #7302

      I fully agree with that, cause at the moment even the government departments do not consider the NQF aligned programmes as well as the certificates of achievements from relevant ETQA, they still believe in Diploma’s and Degrees from well known universities which is dissadvantaging the learners who study through the registerd training providers that offers the NQF alinged learning programmes.

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    • #7301
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Is there any body that knows if any specific research was done on the impact that the NQF had (has) on South Africa’s economy?

      Jo informed me about the SAQA bulletin Volume 12 Nr 2, but I am looking for more information on how the NQF contributes or have an influence on the economy.

      I want to advise all of you to look at the link: http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/pubs/bulletins/bullvol12_2.pdf 

      This is an extremely informative document.  I must warn you – it is a lot of reading, but worthwhile taking the time to look at this.

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    • #7300
      Des Squire
      Participant

      Hi Wilma

      have a look at http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/reports/impactreport/cycle2/chapter5.pdf

      Wilma said:

      Is there any body that knows if any specific research was done on the impact that the NQF had (has) on South Africa’s economy?

      Jo informed me about the SAQA bulletin Volume 12 Nr 2, but I am looking for more information on how the NQF contributes or have an influence on the economy.

      I want to advise all of you to look at the link: http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/pubs/bulletins/bullvol12_2.pdf 

      This is an extremely informative document.  I must warn you – it is a lot of reading, but worthwhile taking the time to look at this.

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    • #7299

      And now the Green Paper is proposing to take away all the levels (I always see a thin whisp of smoke as a fire!)!  How on earth will one ever know what the qualification’s equivalent is for transferability/portability/mobility purposes if that ever happens?  However, I do agree with Joe Samuels that the NQF has progressed and a lot has been done (I’m still battling to come to terms with 10 levels, when the framework in the whole of Europe is only 8).  I also agree that post-1994 it was essential to adapt to new circumstances.  Change is always painful if there is not buy-in and for that, we needed a lot of guidance and good leadership.  What we keep doing wrong though, is this urge to continually re-develop and reinvent ourselves.  Let us now settle and work with what we have till we have perfected it.  It is true that people respond to things that are familiar and hence therir preference for qualifications termed diploma and certificate.  But, they are getting used to levels now.  We also need more advocacy – if the public is not informed, it will not understand and there will be continued resistance.  We all need to play a role in this – explaining and advocating the benefits in the face of employers resisting change. 

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    • #7298
      Wilma de Villiers
      Participant

      Dear Fellow-SU’s

      (Will have to add this acronym to the acronym-group!)

      I had to do a task on the NQF in different countries and all the responses to my blog assisted me – thanks to every one, although you did not even realize that you were helping me.

      A special thanks to Joe for giving me the link to the SAQA bulletin. 

      Currently I am doing another task which links to the green paper and the discussions/ comments around this is also contributing to my work.

      Regards, Wilma

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