Training Service Providers


3rd Degree Programme on Damelin Brits – and unaccredited short courses

This topic contains 78 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #36827

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    For those who didn’t catch the 3rd Degree programme on eTV, this is a brief summary as I understood it:

    3 students were interviewed with similar stories, they had paid for courses and completed them, but had not received their certificates – for months and in one case it seems up to a year.

    Two had paid for themselves (one by obtaining a loan) and one student had received company sponsorship.  The latter was for Production Management and the others for Office Admin and Computer Skills.

    When they pursued the certificates, they were generally sent from pillar to post, to Head Office Damelin in Durban and back again.  The owner – one “Estelle” apparently disappeared and stopped taking calls at some stage in this process.

    Debra Patta interviewed a representative of Damelin, who advised that Damelin offers both accredited programmes and short courses.  The short courses require a form to be signed to acknowledge that the students understand that they are not accredited courses. (Non-credit-bearing courses.) 

    Debra said that there is no proof that such documentation exists at Damelin Brits and the students say that they did not know this.  Damelin Brits is a franchise operation and the HO representative indicated that the procedures were apparently not followed.  But the learning requirements were followed and so the Head Office did issue certificates. 

    Apparently the short courses are between 12 – 24 weeks and the representative said were: “designed to meet the immediate needs of students”. The short courses according to the students – cost between R8,400.00 and R10,000.00 – from the figures they said they had paid.

    Debra Patta repeatedly asked whether the students would get their money back.  She was told that the students have received their certificates for their short courses and that if they are still unhappy that they should follow legal procedures to recover their money.

    Some questions arising from the programme:

    a) The Damelin Brits franchise operation is apparently in liquidation – how much will it cost for these students to recover their monies through legal processes – and will that even be possible?

    b) Is this the normal cost for a short course of 12 – 24 weeks between R8,400 and R10,000?

    c) How does the accreditation and registration work for franchise operations?

    d) Is it correct to completely discount non-credit bearing courses?  How does one assess the value of a non-credit bearing course?  Surely if there is work-relevant learning, it has a value?

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  • #36896

    I watched that disheartening show and i do agree with you Sylvia. If Damelin can charge such ridiculous amounts for short courses, i shudder to see what they charge for their credit bearing courses. Even if these learners can recoup their monies legally, its going to take years and will be very costly for them. I would have loved to see the franchisor taking some responsibility in this saga.

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  • #36895

    Hi Sylvia,

    Thanks for bringing this issue forward to the portal. I think I am not qualified to directly answer your questions (a-d) but the anger in me, I cannot help but to respond!

    There’s many many cases like this, and it is so sad that no drastic action is taken against these institutions. I come across this more often in studies such as Nursing, Computer Studies, Admin etc.

    Can you believe that almost 9 out of 10 Secondary School Teachers I have spoken to CANNOT tell you what the NQF, SAQA or even ACCREDITATION is?

    I mean if Teachers at High School level doesn’t understand the ‘current post-matric education landscape’, how are we expecting them to give guidance to the secondary school leavers?

    [at the end of the day who becomes the victim of suffering, failure unemployment and crime  ————>THE YOUTH!]

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  • #36894

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Clayton – yes the cost is concerning.  The question I have on that is: do all the Damelin franchises charge the same and offer the same courses, or is there a standard menu of courses and of charges?

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  • #36893

    Genewade Manuel
    Participant

    Hey Sylvia

    I am so happy that this has finally come to light…I am an ex-damelin franchise employee and I know of many students whom is still awaiting their certificates for Diploma,Certificate and short courses completed. I get stopped in shopping malls etc by students and parents telling me that they have not received the certificates since 2009…this is unbelievable and what’s more shocking is that the head office couldn’t assist them and claims they have no record of them (quoting a learner). Its weird that there’s no record as it is required by all Damelin’s to send record to HO. I hope that this matter will be resolved and that the people/students will get justice in all fairness to them.

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  • #36892

    I fully agree with you Clayton —–> the Franchisor should also be brought to book!

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  • #36891

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank you Siyabonga, you raise an interesting point.  Personally, I believe that there is a definite role for short courses.  Especially for those already in employment where they will benefit from additional specific knowledge which they can apply practically in the workplace.  There are many courses like that which I would recommend.  Also it can provide information about an area to confirm whether they want to continue in that field.

    However, where we have young people who are looking for their first qualification it is critical that they understand what an accredited qualification is.  I will discuss with Alan and Kat what we can do to explain this on http://www.thecareersportal.co.za.  I’m sure that the young people did benefit from what the courses that they did – it’s just such a lot of money to spend – and then find out that it doesn’t have the accredited status they expected.  

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  • #36890

    Genewade Manuel
    Participant

    Franchises offer different courses from the menu of Damelin courses available. The prices differ from franchises to Branch, a generic price list is sent to all franchises by HO…I am speaking from what I experienced when I worked at Damelin.

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  • #36889

    Bronwyn Newman
    Keymaster

    Morning Sylvia

    It is so strange that a well named training institution like DAMELIN that students trust because of it’s reputation, gets let down on such a large scale. Yet, there are smaller training companies that have these courses accredited but cannot survive because they get eaten by big named institution like these.

    I am pleased they are exposed for over charging students firstly and proofing how greedy they are for money and not considering the students personal needs for there future.

    I do hope they get a positive outcome from this sad ordeal and that students leaving school will consider the government FET colleges for further study and also to consider smaller training companies for there short courses.

     

    Thank you for this post Sylvia!

     

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  • #36888

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Genewade, thanks for that.  Do you know is the accreditation done by the Head Office, and are they responsible for quality assurance of the franchises?

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  • #36887

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Everyone

     

    I watched the programme and am disappointed with the Damelin rep because he does not want to take responsibility. For one as Damelin head office they have the responsibility to ensure that their franchisees follow policies and procedures, which in this case someone did not do his job especially since this issue has been going on for over a year. Secondly how do you say that people can download procedures on accredited courses and all the policies and procedures to be followed when registering that is an insult to an ordinary South African? He said the courses run between 12 – 24 weeks and short courses are not accredited, true but not every short course is not accredited, because we have five days accredited courses. does he even know what he is talking about.Talking about following legal procedure against company being liquidated , please,,,,,,,,

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  • #36929

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Everyone

     

    I watched the programme and am disappointed with the Damelin rep because he does not want to take responsibility. For one as Damelin head office they have the responsibility to ensure that their franchisees follow policies and procedures, which in this case someone did not do his job especially since this issue has been going on for over a year. Secondly how do you say that people can download procedures on accredited courses and all the policies and procedures to be followed when registering that is an insult to an ordinary South African? He said the courses run between 12 – 24 weeks and short courses are not accredited, true but not every short course is not accredited, because we have five days accredited courses. does he even know what he is talking about.Talking about following legal procedure against company being liquidated , please,,,,,,,,

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  • #43164

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Everyone

     

    I watched the programme and am disappointed with the Damelin rep because he does not want to take responsibility. For one as Damelin head office they have the responsibility to ensure that their franchisees follow policies and procedures, which in this case someone did not do his job especially since this issue has been going on for over a year. Secondly how do you say that people can download procedures on accredited courses and all the policies and procedures to be followed when registering that is an insult to an ordinary South African? He said the courses run between 12 – 24 weeks and short courses are not accredited, true but not every short course is not accredited, because we have five days accredited courses. does he even know what he is talking about.Talking about following legal procedure against company being liquidated , please,,,,,,,,

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  • #44205

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Everyone

     

    I watched the programme and am disappointed with the Damelin rep because he does not want to take responsibility. For one as Damelin head office they have the responsibility to ensure that their franchisees follow policies and procedures, which in this case someone did not do his job especially since this issue has been going on for over a year. Secondly how do you say that people can download procedures on accredited courses and all the policies and procedures to be followed when registering that is an insult to an ordinary South African? He said the courses run between 12 – 24 weeks and short courses are not accredited, true but not every short course is not accredited, because we have five days accredited courses. does he even know what he is talking about.Talking about following legal procedure against company being liquidated , please,,,,,,,,

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  • #36886

    Cindy Payle
    Keymaster

    Hi Sylvia

    It seems that this is not the first time Damelin has come under the spotlight this year – In September Carte Blanch investigated the standard of qualifications at Damelin Louwveld and it was then first suspected that Damelin was offering unaccredited courses. In response to the allegations brought against the institution at that time, it was explained that “all of the qualifications are in fact accredited, just not under the name of the Damelin colleges group.”  

    For more on this report check out the link

    http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-mobile-news?oid=6181676&sn=Mobile-Detail&pid=4732825&Carte-Blanche-not-correct–says-Damelin

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  • #36885

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Bronwyn, yes I do also think it’s a shame that a well known name is in doubt.  I’m interested in how the quality assurance system works when there are franchises.  Also Siyabonga has raised such a good point that it’s young people – and their teachers – who need to know about the NQF and accreditation – credit-bearing programmes versus short courses.  I’ve suggested to Alan and Kat that we could do some explanation on thecareersportal.

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  • #36884

    It is not fair to tarnish the whole of Damelin’s name with this. Some of the Damelin franchises run a very tight ship and do excellent work and have done for years. 

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  • #36883

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Cindy, so that adds an additional factor.  I can understand that Damelin franchise was offering a course where the ICB was the holder of the accreditation and provided the certificates. 

    It is certainly a challenge for young people venturing out into the world to get to grips with the various permutations.

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  • #36882

    There’s not enough information to evaluate the cost of short courses. Taking the highest figure of R 10,000 and the shortest period of 12 weeks works out at R 833 per week or R 167 per day. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. We need to know how many hours tuition is involved over the period, and what style of delivery. 

    As for discounting non-credit bearing courses; if there is real skills transfer that the learner can apply in generating income then credits are merely icing on the cake.  The value is in the return for the learner; a better job or an increase in pay. 

    Perhaps there should be published pricing guidelines for learners to be able make comparisons? Maybe based on hourly/daily rates for lectures, one to one tutoring, small group facilitation and so on.  The range could be wide enough to enable quality providers to pitch at the high end and give the less flush learner a low cost option. 

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  • #36881

    Thanks, Sylvia for this feedback. Students, with all due respect, need to do some research on the studies they want to take on. There have been a lot of ‘fly by night’ colleges with bogus qualifications over the past years and this is the reason why SAQA need to regulate the industry. Unfortunately SAQA has its own problems such as taking forever to accredit many ‘world renowed and sought-after qualifications. One wonders why this takes so long with these processes when all the criteria is in place – qualifications, NQF Level, curriculum, learning material, years of training, 40,000+ members of the organisation worldwide? Now these organisations must dance through hoops for SAQA? With the constant dragging of heals and bureaucracy by the authorities, it is the students who are are suffering and being deprived of good ‘education’ and qualifications. My advice to learners is to seek globally, internationally recognised qualifications if they can afford it. It will pay dividends in the long run.

    http://oxfordcollegeofmarketing.com/global/train-southafrica.html   

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  • #36880

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Jacqui – I agree with you. I also don’t have a problem with short courses.  The problem is whether the students (and their parents or those paying) understand what is a credit-bearing course and what is not.

    But from a quality assurance point of view, what is the responsibility of the Franchisor?  If they use the name, then surely the quality assurance rests with the name holder?  Or is each franchise independently accredited?

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  • #36879

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia

    Coming from an institution that has now started giving serious thought to the idea of offering ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’, the whole Damelin thing made me extremely nervous. As the GM: Quality Assurance and Accreditation for a large private PHEI I am constantly gaurding against actions the larger institution might take that could possibly harm our standing with the various regulatory bodies we are dependant on for our accreditation, and therefore also our livelihood. Is it worth offering short-courses if you risk students reporting you for selling them non-accredited programmes even after you’ve taken every possible measure to inform them beforehand? What else can you do than ensure that the message of ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’ is cummunicated on every possible platform before they sign on the dotted line? In my oppinion there is very little you can do to safegaurd your institution against this kind on backlash while the general public remains largely uninformed about matters such as accreditation, the NQF, credits, etc. Let the Damelin debacle be a warning to all of us that pursue the short-course cash machine with impunity…

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  • #36928

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia

    Coming from an institution that has now started giving serious thought to the idea of offering ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’, the whole Damelin thing made me extremely nervous. As the GM: Quality Assurance and Accreditation for a large private PHEI I am constantly gaurding against actions the larger institution might take that could possibly harm our standing with the various regulatory bodies we are dependant on for our accreditation, and therefore also our livelihood. Is it worth offering short-courses if you risk students reporting you for selling them non-accredited programmes even after you’ve taken every possible measure to inform them beforehand? What else can you do than ensure that the message of ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’ is cummunicated on every possible platform before they sign on the dotted line? In my oppinion there is very little you can do to safegaurd your institution against this kind on backlash while the general public remains largely uninformed about matters such as accreditation, the NQF, credits, etc. Let the Damelin debacle be a warning to all of us that pursue the short-course cash machine with impunity…

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  • #43163

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia

    Coming from an institution that has now started giving serious thought to the idea of offering ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’, the whole Damelin thing made me extremely nervous. As the GM: Quality Assurance and Accreditation for a large private PHEI I am constantly gaurding against actions the larger institution might take that could possibly harm our standing with the various regulatory bodies we are dependant on for our accreditation, and therefore also our livelihood. Is it worth offering short-courses if you risk students reporting you for selling them non-accredited programmes even after you’ve taken every possible measure to inform them beforehand? What else can you do than ensure that the message of ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’ is cummunicated on every possible platform before they sign on the dotted line? In my oppinion there is very little you can do to safegaurd your institution against this kind on backlash while the general public remains largely uninformed about matters such as accreditation, the NQF, credits, etc. Let the Damelin debacle be a warning to all of us that pursue the short-course cash machine with impunity…

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  • #44204

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia

    Coming from an institution that has now started giving serious thought to the idea of offering ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’, the whole Damelin thing made me extremely nervous. As the GM: Quality Assurance and Accreditation for a large private PHEI I am constantly gaurding against actions the larger institution might take that could possibly harm our standing with the various regulatory bodies we are dependant on for our accreditation, and therefore also our livelihood. Is it worth offering short-courses if you risk students reporting you for selling them non-accredited programmes even after you’ve taken every possible measure to inform them beforehand? What else can you do than ensure that the message of ‘non-credit bearing short courses for self-enrichment purposes’ is cummunicated on every possible platform before they sign on the dotted line? In my oppinion there is very little you can do to safegaurd your institution against this kind on backlash while the general public remains largely uninformed about matters such as accreditation, the NQF, credits, etc. Let the Damelin debacle be a warning to all of us that pursue the short-course cash machine with impunity…

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  • #36878

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Mario, you raise a key point.  From the eTV report, I understood that Damelin do have a procedure that students should sign a document to confirm that they understand that the course they are paying for is not credit-bearing.  Apparently, there is no evidence from the Brits Damelin that they did that.  That was my understanding.

    So it seems to me that the key here is what is the “sign on” and payment procedure. I do not think that it would have been a problem – in fact there probably wouldn’t have been a TV programme – if the college was able to simply say: here is the document you signed that you understood.

    Personally, I think that the obligation lies with the seller to explain what is being sold – that is in line with the principle of our consumer and financial services legislation now. 

    So I don’t think that you should not do short courses.  I am a strong believer in their place, their relevance and their benefit. It is how they are marketed and packaged and sold.

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  • #36877

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    That’s an interesting thought on price comparison Christopher – I wonder whether the training provider associations should consider some guidelines on pricing standards. 

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  • #36876

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    Thanks Sylvia.

    When I first started in HR I taught a three-month course in HR at Damelin.  The course was ideal for line managers to get up to speed with as much HR and IR as they would need.  But the problem was, almost all the students were youngsters who saw this as their chance to become an HR Manager.  I don’t know what Damelin told the students back then (this was before the advent of SETAs), but they certainly did nothing to discourage such learners.  On the other hand, even if they had explained things, I doubt that students would really have listened.  They couldn’t afford a degree or National Diploma; this one they could. After about three courses it depressed me too much, and I stopped teaching it.

    Cost-wise, it was about R3400 back then which would put it in the R8000 to R10000 barcket now.

    Meaningful career guidance is what is needed, but Siyabonga suggests that’s not going to happen for the majority of students.

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  • #36875

    Although I did not watch this segment, I have reason to question Damelin. I am dealing with someone who spent time, money and several exams, course work etc getting a “Diploma” from Damelin in Accounting Management or something along thoses lines only to now discover that it is not a diploma. The course is merely “aligned” to the actual qualification. In order to get the Diploma she now needs to do RPL, gap training etc etc??? I now feel that providers depend on their branding and the high cost to catch people that do not know and feel they getting the real deal simply because they paid a lot for it and the company is well known.

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  • #36874

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Ian, yes I am familiar with the short course you describe – and I recall someone who did think it was enough to become an HR Manager. 

    Yes, Siyabonga has made the most valuable observation.  The key to the problem is education of young people. They need to know the difference between credit-bearing and short courses, what are reasonable costs for those different programmes and also as you point out, what they can expect from the programme that they do – short courses do not mean that you are qualified for a senior position. 

    I do also think that there is a second point that arises – the quality assurance of franchise operations.

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  • #36873

    As an individual in the education management business, it is sad. This kind of behavior shouldnt be tolerated at all. It goes to show how even the likes of Damelin can ruin students life in their path to find employment in this country. They are out to rip thepeople who want a decent “qualification” with the hope of getting employed, in a very uncomfortable employment environment. Now, how are they going to get employed, having spent so much money on a useless qualification? This is concerning. Also the honors is in Damelin to educate students ahead of choosing “useless courses”, and not only be pursued by the envy of their wallet and hard earned money.

    How about this now? I am currently employing 10 000 graduates in my business, and among them, are coming from Damelin. As a small business with big intentions, this is going to cost me some money to actually verify their qualification and treat every Damelin graduate with great care, because of their mess ups. It goes to show how greedy people are at the cost of another human beings, trying to earn a decent qualification.

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  • #36872

    Hi Sylvia,

    Thank you for your post and raising this concerning matter – as it is an issue definitely worth shedding some light on – especially for the youngsters out there that DON’T KNOW what an accredited qualification is, and HOW it WORKS. Just thinking back to when I was that age (first few years of leaving school), I did not understand how accreditation worked and it is imperative that we help spread a better understanding of it. Thank you for this. 

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  • #36871

    That I will really appreciate Madam, please engage Alan and Kat and I surely will share that article with Educators in some schools in Khayelitsha.

    BUT Lastly before I go, I want to take up this challenge! [Sylvia I may need your help here]

    We have about 10 Saturdays left before the 15th of December,[or at least 1 day a week] how about WHOEVER IS INTERESTED to join me and organize at least a half-day/3hr workshop for the few schools in Khayelitsha through WCED, and we inform these learners about these issues, what’s ON & what NOT (NQF, SAQA, Learnerships, Choosing a Career etc)

    I don’t believe in sitting on the sidelines and chirping. Either I/we must be prepared to contribute or I believe I/we must just keep quiet. I think that’s the constructive way for us to think about these things, and that’s why I making myself available for something like this and I am willing to donate!

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  • #36870

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Great thanks Kat – and it seems to get more complicated by the day!

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  • #36869

    @Siyabonga…is there anyway I can get your contact details?

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  • #36868

    Certainly Depolelo!

    My contact details are as follows;

    Cell: 076 656 1884/081 508 1886

    Email: siya.dilimeni@gmail.com

    or Tel 021 976 8058

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  • #36867

    Thank you. I will be in touch.

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  • #36866

    Only a pleasure. Yes, indeed it does..!

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  • #36865

    Hi Cindy

     

    Im the Principal of Damelin Lowveld and I would appreciated it if you check your facts before making false allegations.  1stly my campus (Damelin Lowveld – a franchise) was NOT invesitgated by Carte Blanche (CB).  CB ran a story and alledged that some courses offered by the Damelin Group is not accredited.  The list of courses named by CB included courses offered by the IMM, SAIM and ICB.  CB was incorrect in their reporting as courses offered by these external institutions are infact accredited.  I offer some of their courses so I felt it was important to inform the public of this.  I would appreciate it if you will retract your statement.  If you have any queries please feel free to call me at the campus on (013) 755 3503. 

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  • #36864

    Hi Kat,

    I am victim of such! 

    I am the only son and a breadwinner at home and sadly to say that my single mother’s salary of R500 a month went into waste back in the years and it took me double the time to get me where I am today hence this becomes a very personal ad touching issue to me.

    I was a Top Matric Student iN Business Economics and achieved very well in 5 other subjects BUT I was mislead and ended up in a Business Class that never meant anything to me.

    The poor Young South Africans have NO-CLUE what they are getting themselves into! [Frankly – Leaders in Government do not care either because they have never been on the other side of life] only what matters to secondary school leavers is the FACT that they are studying… 

    Poor uneducated parent in Soweto has NO CLUE what she’s paying for, the only satisfaction she get’s is from the ‘Hope for the Future’ and seeing his son waking up in the morning, taking a taxi to town and attending a College!

    [not knowing….] 

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  • #36863

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Siyabonga – that sounds like a great idea to get the information out to schools.  Do you have the contacts with the schools to set it up?  I’ll talk to Alan and Kat about us putting the information together in an easy to understand format.  We could have it on thecareersportal site as well.

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  • #36862

    I believe that there are a few issues to bring out, and a lot more lessons to learn.  Firstly, my experience in the training industry and the culture in this country has been that: if it is from a “white” institution, it is right; if it is from a big institution, it is quality; if it is from an old institution, it is reliable. My worry is that newer players and entrepreneurs that make a difference (real difference: like hiring people, giving experiential learning to people who have no experience), are not given any recognition. 

    The funny thing is that I am a product of Damelin College; Two Diplomas, 1993 and 1995.  The fact is that Damelin had an excellent reputation and an excellent business model: GET THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY TO LECTURE ON THEIR COURSES, AND PAY THEM WELL – WHAT A KILLER FORMULA!! The learners had access to real-job information and experience!!  What went wrong? Only Damelin Management can TEll YOU!!  I say that because I also had the opportunity of working within  the group that owns Damelin and Intec: The problem was that Management was more interested in the student’s money, than the student’s well-being and future success!

    I know a lot of Training institution that give short courses which have real value.  Some of these courses are aligned with international accreditation bodies, international/industry-recognized certifications etc.  A person will write international exams accredited by these bodies; giving the learner an opportunity to be employable virtually anywhere!  Now the issue is that, when you are in South Africa, you are told about NQF, SAQA, SETA’s….and you find that many other institutions in the JHB CBD, for example, have these accreditations; but have any of you guys been to the “campuses” or buildings? UTTER DISGUST!  Some of the SETA accreditation processes are copied and pasted to suit the institution, and BAM! you have your accreditation…so the incompetence in these accreditation bodies are also adding to the existing problems.

    Now, people need to be educated about how to go about choosing an institution that will give them real value for their money; where the institution cares about the success of their learners, not just their money.

    I could go on and on about this topic, but I have shared some light on this post:

    http://learningevarsity.com/the-value-of-international-certifications/

     

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  • #36861

    Hi Sylvia,

    Yes I do, I just spoke to a Mr Mali, Vice Principal at a School in Gugulethu and he promised to give me the relevant contacts tomorrow morning for the nearby schools.

    We can also shoot it from top management, that’s not a problem I can get access to them. I do have contact numbers and email addresses for Directors of  all 8 education district in the Western Cape

    Brognah Casey is the spokesperson for the Minister, Donald Grant  bronagh.casey@westerncape.gov.za

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  • #36860

    Hi Sylvia

     

    This debate brings me to another topic on the “naming” of short courses.  Damelin and many others refer to their short courses as just that – which is not misleading as the potential students knows that it is not a qualification (full programme), however there are other institutions who refer to their short courses as diplomas (e.g. Short Learning Programme Diploma in ………).  I have a issue with that.  When I approached the institution doing this I was told there are no laws regulating the naming of the short course.

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  • #36859

    I agree, Riaan. People must stop making unfounded and unsubstantiated statements based on  a hyped up media programme that looks for the bad in everything. 

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  • #36858

    Ask Varsity College what they charge for their non-credit bearing short courses – between R10 000 and R15 000 depending on the length  (about 15 weeks 3 x 2 hours per week). Not unreasonable.

    The point is it is not illegal to offer unaccredited or non-credit bearing short courses – the issue here I think is – were the students and parents informed? From my experience students are so eager to enrol that they don’t listen and then come with stories afterwards about the fact that they were never told. 

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  • #36857

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank you Abraham – that is another feature of this discussion – the bodies doing the accreditation.  And as you say there are programmes that are not accredited in South Africa which have international recognition.  All additional things for young people to understand.

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  • #36856

    Bronwyn Newman
    Keymaster

    That is a brilliant idea! I see Siyabonga has gotten the ball rolling and has raised some very important facts!!

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  • #36855

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Riaan, yes you are correct – as I have said elsewhere in this discussion, there is nothing wrong with short courses, they have a place and a relevance.  The problem for young people seeking what they believe is a step up to employment or promotion is: what is appropriate for them, and what will give them what they need.

    I believe that it is the obligation on the training provider/institution to clarify what the student is going to receive.  That I believe is fundamental to our consumer protection legislation.  It is also the foundation of our financial legislation.  The obligation is on the provider to explain what the receiver is getting.

    This is especially relevant in South Africa.  Yes, there are many children whose parents have qualifications – are in work and do have access to this knowledge.  BUT the vast majority of citizens do not have that background.  They are prepared to pay enormous amounts of money (relevant to what they earn) for education, for qualifications.  But they do not have the background to be able to distinguish a qualification, a certificate, a diploma – what the difference is and whether it is suitable.

    I agree with you – you are correct – advertising is the problem.  On skills-universe a member recently reported to us a misleading advert.  We reported to the Seta, who immediately took action to contact the provider who agreed to edit their site within a week.

    Our objective here is to ask the questions that bring out the problems – and highlight the questions that young people need to ask.

    So please provide us with more information that you believe is relevant.  What are the titles of the courses and programmes – what should we look out for?  What is misleading?

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  • #36854

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Jacqui – useful for clarification of what current prices are.

    And yes that is the point – were they informed?  From the programme it seems not.  Please see my other responses on this point.

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  • #36853

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    It took me a while to work out that when you said, “for self-enrichment purposes” you were talking about the student.  Sorry.

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  • #36852

    Moipone Ndaba
    Participant

    And sadly, parents and the learners think Damelin it is a reputable institution.  Can we really blame them, no. It is all about awareness and also it becomes the schools responsibility to empower learners when they have the career guidance on such situations. Also the honors lie with some of us who are aware of all this but not doing anything about it. I think social responsibility is not only in monetary value, but one can contribute with knowledge and time to empower people. I think this challenges all of us.

    But what goes around, does really come around. If as parents themselves”Estelle” they do this to people  whom they should be making a difference to their lives through empowering with education, but instead they give them a raw deal, surely they will reap what they have sowed.

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  • #36851

    The point is it is ONE FRANCHISE – not the whole of Damelin or for that matter every individual franchise. I work with (not for) these franchises on an ongoing basis and the ones I know are really delivering on their promises. It makes me sick that a programme like Carte Blanche can over-sensationalise things and bring a whole organisation into disrepute and I think the programme organisers have some explaining and apologising to do.

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  • #36850

    Cindy Payle
    Keymaster

    Hi Riaan

    I see the investigation was performed on Damelin as a whole and not on your franchise in particular and that as you’ve stated the courses Damelin Louwveld provides are in fact accredited. I do apologize for this error and for any damage I may have caused your institution. Thank you for correcting the statements and adding light to the discussion. Our aim is not to sensationalize but rather to inform members of issues that impact skills development and we appreciate your contribution to this platform.

    If you would like to chat to me directly you can contact me 086 111 2218.

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  • #36849

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Siyabonga.  If you will raise it from your side, we can work on putting something together on what learners need to look out for and what questions to ask.

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  • #36848

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    What worries me about international courses is my complete ignorance. Just because a university is in Wales or Hamburg, doesn’t make it “international”. How do I (and all the students in this country) know that the institution concerned doesn’t have the same quality issues , lack of accreditation, and a culture of chasing after students’ money that we have here?

    At least here we have SAQA, badly flawed, terribly cumbersome, but at least it can tell us something about the organisation and the course.  Out there we have nothing. And when they do refer to an acreditation body, again, how do I, sitting in SA, know the value of that acrediting body?

    It’s tricky.

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  • #36847

    Hi Ian.,

    By international certifications: I mean that, it does not matter where you write the exams, every other student in the world is writing the same exams!  This is regardless of the institution they studied at…

    For example, CIMA(Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), Microsoft, ORACLE, Cisco, etc. all have office locally as well as internationally, so we have a leg to stand on!

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  • #36846

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Jacqui, I understand your frustration but I don’t believe this discussion has been sensationalist.  The question I am raising is: what is the quality assurance responsibility of the franchisor?  If I go to Spar, or Spur or other franchise – I expect the same product quality regardless of where I purchase their product. 

    So, there is one layer of are the programmes credit-bearing or not.   But there is a second layer of where is the quality assurance responsibility?  If I am happy to use the Cape Town branch, can I expect the same quality elsewhere?  For me, that is a key question.

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  • #36845

    Arrie Venter
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia

    We had a similar problem a fewyears ago and they (Damelin) tried everything to not pay back the money ….the U/S that was used for the training was lapsed and the assessors were not even registered. They even had the SETA take me on and then they also had their lawyer…but in the end ..and not to long, they paid the money back.

    Maybe these providers should be closed down…. But under the Consumer Act Damelin Head Office is responsible for their franchises!!!! 

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  • #36844

    Degree Mills abound, Ian and it’s related to a thing called “diploma disease” – people wanting qualifications because they see more qualifications = to better chances of getting a job. SAQA had to investigate thousands of false qualifications this year, some of them the so-called international qualifications. I agree that we at least have a system – top heavy and lopsided as it it and fraught with stumbling blocks for the private provider. 

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  • #36843

    I think one might sometimes question how the programmes you are referring to are presented, however, one cannot ignore the issues they bring to light and this is one issue that requires attention. Whilst i agree with you, Jacqui that not all DAMELINS should now be painted with one brush, the brand DAMELIN now faces a possible dent and the gentleman who was representing the brand last night did not do it any favours

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  • #36842

    Bronwyn Newman
    Keymaster

    Dear Siyabonga

    I just read now on the NYDA page that they doing  campaigning and during the campaign the NYDA career guidance counsellors will be on site to share information and facilitate career guidance information and assist learners with different career options. They are visiting rural school to encourage Grade 12 learners to apply for tertiary enrolement.

     Would be great to have them onboard to assist you as well http://www.nyda.gov.za
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  • #36841

    Alison Hayes
    Participant

    I’ve read all the comments. I worked in a temporary capacity at one of these so-called “colleges” which offered unaccredited courses.  I was horrified to witness the shocking way in which the learners were treated – shunted around from pillar to post.  They were not treated with the respect they deserved as paying customers.  Course facilitators were often not subject matter experts. Learners and their parents are often very ignorant as to how to choose a quality course.  Sadly many have wasted hard earned money.  Proper regulation and quality control are long overdue.

     

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  • #36840

    Thanks Bronwyn

    I will keep an eye on them!

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  • #36839

    Hi Alison I agree that qa needs to be done across the board, but it is not acceptable that all providers are touched with the tarbrush so to speak because some colleges are errant. This gives the whole private provider industry a bad name – not only the colleges whose names are mentioned by the media. Everybody deserves a fair shake otherwise the alternative is to have NO private providers and only public providers and then we will be in a worse mess educationally speaking than we are already. Why doesn’t Carte Blanche do an expose of FET colleges where the throughput rate is a horrendous 4%! 

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  • #36838

    Ashwell Glasson
    Participant

    Taking an objective line here, please consider my inputs as such, I certainly hope will not offend anybody, especially the Damelin members of Skills-Universe. Like Sylvia I think it is about getting objective information about the situation at hand and not populist rhetoric. Examining and extracting the lessons to make certain we do not make the same mistakes or encourage inappropriate training. For its not so much about Damelin as it is about the learners (their futures) and the miss-perceptions out there. Considering that Damelin Brits was going into liquidation, there may be strong mitigating circumstances around how the situation evolved, which need further investigation on its own merits. Not all franchisees operate as such, I have spent some time with a few and they do their level best in the areas of operation. 

    I think for many of us watching from the outside it is easy to cast aspersions in these situations and from my perspective it is not so much about the hard working franchisees, but rather several issues both situational as well as historical when it comes to Damelin as the franchisor. This can and still do colour peoples judgement about Damelin in general. It is often how the problems are detected and managed when they occur, as inevitably they do happen. Which I think many people may feel that Damelin (the franchisor) was just was not truly honest or committed enough in dealing with the Brits situation. I personally think that Damelin does add value positively to many students and communities, but the legacy of it marketing and providing non-accredited programmes that were still termed diplomas, certificates, etc till a few years ago has left some negative impressions. Plus the move from Naspers to its new owners may have exacerbated some of the issues in transitioning into the new quality assurance regime, although I am not entirely sure about that.

    For me the situation has provided Damelin (the franchisor) with the perfect opportunity to positively address the issues and actually take its reputation forward more positively.  From my perspective it should try and do the following in conjunction with its franchisees, its students, the public and its other stakeholders: 

    1. Ensure that its centralised quality assurance system detects these kind of unethical issues in advance. Develop an early warning system that allows it to address any non-conformance’s to the Damelin code of conduct and franchisee requirements. It needs to up its Quality Assurance game and also look at its ethics, brand values and how those should be role-modeled by it staff and franchisees. 
    2. Provide structured career guidance (utilising a range of criterion-referenced tools, quantitative and qualitative in nature combined with good counselling) linked to specific qualifications, learning programmes and short courses (I know that some franchisees do this, like Damelin Krugersdorp, but not all). This is where most of the issues emanate from, students wanting to get into a career as quickly as possible and then making inappropriate choices about the foundational  qualification that should assist them in accessing the formal labour market. Its about linking people to qualifications that set them on the right path and hopefully decent work, not constraining them, when there are ever greater challenges that abound such as a general lack of employment for the youth. Damelin has several unique selling propositions that should be leveraged more strongly and this is one of them. For me it makes absolute sense that the franchisees provide structured and evidence-based career guidance
    3. Be explicit in its marketing communications and one-on-one interactions with potential students, parents and organisations with regards the accreditation status or credit-bearing nature of all its programmes. I have heard in my professional network that people believe that Damelin’s marketing is misleading (even if it is not). Perceptions have power, for good or bad.
    4.  That leads me to my last point is that Damelin (the franchisor) should consider a public statement on the record regarding its accreditation, programme approval and related status. This would go a long way in rebuilding its credibility and reputation. 

    Just some food for thought everyone. In closing, all I can say is that the more we allow our education and training system (both public, private and community-based) to fail our youth, the greater the chasm of inequality will become and the likelihood for militancy and violence.

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  • #36837

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank you Ashwell for a most positive and constructive post – much appreciated.

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  • #36836

    All universities and colleges are out to make money – otherwise they would not be in business! They do not educate students for the benefit, purely of the learner! Yes, we do have the bonafide international courses and ‘the rest’ and I suppose SAQA are correct in going through a process to identify the ‘dodgy’ organisations and sift out the undesirables. Question is, who is benefitting whilst SAQA dawdle with even the top overseas courses? 

    It’s up to the learner to do research on international qualifications – there’s no excuse nowadays to not know something about these courses so that they can make up their own mind. Many bonafide organisations do give the student time to assess the course before accepting the fee. As previously mentioned by other members, many of the assignments and exams are marked overseas with a unique exam number so there is less chance of nepotism in qualifications.

    In the Damelin Brits franchise case, it seems like obvious things such as non-accreditation, were not clearly explained to the students, and agreements not signed with witnesses etc. This could be due to the fact that the franchise was about to go into liquidation and needed the cash injection from the students – also unethical.    

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  • #36835

    Isn’t the main point behind the whole franchise business model consistency of product and service among all branches? There’s no question in my view that the franchisor should step in quickly and decisively when something goes seriously wrong. Where’s their ongoing monitoring and evaluation of their franchisees?

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  • #36834

    Hi Sylvia

    I have a particular attraction to INFORMATION. We need to inform the public, the youth about the relevance of short courses vis a vis 3-4 year courses. Short courses should be prescribed for working people, for the purpose of upskilling. If I ran a Damelin franchise and a young Matriculated person rocked up at my premises wanting to do a 12-24 week course for R8400 -R10000; I would advise them to rather go to an FET College OR a University. Ignorance is NOT bliss, it’s a PITY! Damelin “sharks” took advantage of the situation…

    SETA’s are talking about Career fairs in schools – that will be money well spent, especially that SETA’s are battling to disburse funds. People need information…information…information. The challenge is how to disseminate such information. Will it reach the beneficiaries?

    I have not answered your questions entirely, however, that money is gone, so is time. Even if they had received the certificates…will thosebe worth the paper their written on?

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  • #36833

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Sylvia, I watched the programme and it did remind me about some of the fly by night nursing schools and colleges that some of these youngsters find themselves in when they can’t get entrance from your UJs and so on…. I find myself very dissaponinted because Damelin has been around for a long time and I have always thought they are a reputable Institution even even if they are costly as that have always been the case. I am doing a 6-8 months which is a relatively short course with UJ for Project Management and im paying around R12000 and its not even a private Institution like Damelin. The fact that they are not taking resposibility for it claiming that its a franchise, at the end of the day its their brand and if they had given these people their certificates im sure we wouldnt have even known about this! There reason we do is because the students got tired and exposed them because of waiting for so long, only to find out that the courses are not even credited. They say there is a paper you sign thats says this, I think its a lie because I doubt very much there will be anyone who would want to do a course that cost that much and not be Accredited personally i would not regardless whether they learn anything or not. This is a classic example when you try to claim from your insurer and they tell you” Mam..the fine print said it doesnt include that or because of this you can’t get that”. Then you think to yourself what was the point of me paying that premium every month??

    All I can say is that Damelin must just watch their brand crumple because no one is prepared to take any responsibility and im sure people wont want to take the risk anymore even with their Accredited courses I know I wont be recommending it to anyone.

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  • #36927

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Sylvia, I watched the programme and it did remind me about some of the fly by night nursing schools and colleges that some of these youngsters find themselves in when they can’t get entrance from your UJs and so on…. I find myself very dissaponinted because Damelin has been around for a long time and I have always thought they are a reputable Institution even even if they are costly as that have always been the case. I am doing a 6-8 months which is a relatively short course with UJ for Project Management and im paying around R12000 and its not even a private Institution like Damelin. The fact that they are not taking resposibility for it claiming that its a franchise, at the end of the day its their brand and if they had given these people their certificates im sure we wouldnt have even known about this! There reason we do is because the students got tired and exposed them because of waiting for so long, only to find out that the courses are not even credited. They say there is a paper you sign thats says this, I think its a lie because I doubt very much there will be anyone who would want to do a course that cost that much and not be Accredited personally i would not regardless whether they learn anything or not. This is a classic example when you try to claim from your insurer and they tell you” Mam..the fine print said it doesnt include that or because of this you can’t get that”. Then you think to yourself what was the point of me paying that premium every month??

    All I can say is that Damelin must just watch their brand crumple because no one is prepared to take any responsibility and im sure people wont want to take the risk anymore even with their Accredited courses I know I wont be recommending it to anyone.

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  • #43162

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Sylvia, I watched the programme and it did remind me about some of the fly by night nursing schools and colleges that some of these youngsters find themselves in when they can’t get entrance from your UJs and so on…. I find myself very dissaponinted because Damelin has been around for a long time and I have always thought they are a reputable Institution even even if they are costly as that have always been the case. I am doing a 6-8 months which is a relatively short course with UJ for Project Management and im paying around R12000 and its not even a private Institution like Damelin. The fact that they are not taking resposibility for it claiming that its a franchise, at the end of the day its their brand and if they had given these people their certificates im sure we wouldnt have even known about this! There reason we do is because the students got tired and exposed them because of waiting for so long, only to find out that the courses are not even credited. They say there is a paper you sign thats says this, I think its a lie because I doubt very much there will be anyone who would want to do a course that cost that much and not be Accredited personally i would not regardless whether they learn anything or not. This is a classic example when you try to claim from your insurer and they tell you” Mam..the fine print said it doesnt include that or because of this you can’t get that”. Then you think to yourself what was the point of me paying that premium every month??

    All I can say is that Damelin must just watch their brand crumple because no one is prepared to take any responsibility and im sure people wont want to take the risk anymore even with their Accredited courses I know I wont be recommending it to anyone.

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  • #44203

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Sylvia, I watched the programme and it did remind me about some of the fly by night nursing schools and colleges that some of these youngsters find themselves in when they can’t get entrance from your UJs and so on…. I find myself very dissaponinted because Damelin has been around for a long time and I have always thought they are a reputable Institution even even if they are costly as that have always been the case. I am doing a 6-8 months which is a relatively short course with UJ for Project Management and im paying around R12000 and its not even a private Institution like Damelin. The fact that they are not taking resposibility for it claiming that its a franchise, at the end of the day its their brand and if they had given these people their certificates im sure we wouldnt have even known about this! There reason we do is because the students got tired and exposed them because of waiting for so long, only to find out that the courses are not even credited. They say there is a paper you sign thats says this, I think its a lie because I doubt very much there will be anyone who would want to do a course that cost that much and not be Accredited personally i would not regardless whether they learn anything or not. This is a classic example when you try to claim from your insurer and they tell you” Mam..the fine print said it doesnt include that or because of this you can’t get that”. Then you think to yourself what was the point of me paying that premium every month??

    All I can say is that Damelin must just watch their brand crumple because no one is prepared to take any responsibility and im sure people wont want to take the risk anymore even with their Accredited courses I know I wont be recommending it to anyone.

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  • #36832

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Kagisho, as many people involved with Damelin have pointed out and I fully agree – there is absolutely nothing wrong with short courses. So it isn’t fair or accurate to call Damelin “sharks”. 

    The question is whether the particular franchise of Damelin Brits office did explain to the students what they were paying for and that seems to have fallen down at that particular franchise.

    Secondly, the learning that they gained is not lost.  They can still go on to apply that knowledge and to build upon it.  It also wrong for people to think that just getting a certificate is all that it takes.  No, it is applying what they learned that’s going to make the difference to their career. 

    I have worked with many very successful people at senior level who have very low qualification level, and soe with a lot of “paper” who aren’t successful.

    I agree that it’s important to educate youth into the right questions to ask.  On the other discussion, you will see that Siyabonga has taken it upon himself to arrange information for schools in Khayelitsha.  That we must all do – educate people – students, parents, teachers on what are the right questions to ask, what is suitable for the student. 

    For example, it’s no good trying to go to university when the person is not academic, but is very practical and good with their hands – then an FET would be appropriate.  If someone has a chance to get a job and wants to gain a bit more knowledge about a subject related to their job – a Damelin short course that they can do part time will be the best thing.   

    I hope this helps to clarify but please don’t attack “Damelin” – because that’s not fair – it is a range of different companies.  Maybe that’s the problem – it confuses the customers – maybe they should also give the name of the company with the word “Damelin”. 

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  • #36831

    My use of Damelin is with relevance to the current issue and not generalised, so I am refering to the Damelin in Brits. The magic word here is RELEVANCE. I have done some Corporate and short courses to my and my ex-employers benefit and again my referral to short courses is specific to this discussion. Clearly, it seems the matter would not have gone to edegree if the beneficiaries had benefited and could apply the knowledge?

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  • #36830

    I do not believe that crying over spilled milk will do any difference to the situation, it’s only unfortunate that this issue came to the light of others through Damelin OTHERWISE there’s thousands of worst cases ——->FAR WORST THAN THIS CASE! 

    1. We should be worrying about the future and contributing to putting measure that will minimise the risks and prevent such situations from occurring again… 
    2. We should be saying ——> I will talk to my son/daughter’s teachers about the future of education (way forward) and the current education landscape (SAQA, NQF, QCTO)
    3. We should so curious to wonder ——->if the Secondary School in my neighbourhood know about these things…
    4. We should be ———>coming part of the solutions (Join the SGB, Contribute, Share the information with you community, Church, Clubs etc)

    Let us take the matter forward by ensuring that WE ARE part of the solution….  this country needs each and everyone of us, do your part!

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  • #36829

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Thank you Sylvia for the clarity.  Personally, I work for Damelin and urge others to see
    the press release that Damelin has posted on to our  Facebook and Twitter
    accounts. This is the official response to set the record straight”.

    DAMELIN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT

    Issued: 10 October 2012
    Durban

    Contact sam@damelin.co.za for any queries that you may have regarding our official comment.

    On Tuesday, October 9th, 3rd Degree featured a segment on Damelin Brits; an independent franchise owned by Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. The show expressed concerns by a few students regarding the validity of their courses; allegations of taking

    their money and withholding certificates, and misleading them.

    The interview centred on a single franchise in the North Western Province, which has experienced financial
    difficulties, and is under voluntary liquidation. The franchise is authorised to offer Damelin short programmes.

    As confirmed by Debora Patta in the interview, Damelin has a good name and is a trusted brand, and we are committed to offering the highest standards of learning to students. For over 69 years, Damelin has been offering quality private education to people from all walks of life.

    We were invited on the show to clarify the accreditation of short courses and to respond to allegations that students were misled. This is our response:

    • Short courses are designed to meet students’ immediate training needs and are fit for use in the workplace.
    • The short courses that the Brit’s students registered for run between 12-24 weeks.
    • It is not a requirement for short courses to be registered with the Department of Higher Education (DHET), but they are quality assured by external specialists and the Damelin Academic Board.
    • Students are informed of these facts on registration by our student advisors, lecturers and through our websites. We also encourage students to ask questions before signing up for any course.
    • Damelin Brits is provisionally accredited with UMALUSI, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (FET 00426 PA), http://www.umalusi.org.za.

    We accept that a minority of students from the Brits campus had to wait longer than necessary for their certificates, due to a breakdown in communication with the franchise. However, we have resolved the matter and issued the certificates to the students.

    In terms of the agreement between Damelin and Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd, student fees are paid to Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. Any students who believe that they qualify for a refund of their fees, for whatever reason, will need to take legal action against Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd to whom they paid their fees.

    We want to assure students at the Brits campus that their current courses will be completed. Where possible, Damelin will assist students with other academic enquiries.

    Contact us on:
    0860 104 015 (8am-4pm, Wednesday – Friday this week).

    Pat Johnson
    Group Franchise Manager

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  • #36926

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Thank you Sylvia for the clarity.  Personally, I work for Damelin and urge others to see
    the press release that Damelin has posted on to our  Facebook and Twitter
    accounts. This is the official response to set the record straight”.

    DAMELIN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT

    Issued: 10 October 2012
    Durban

    Contact sam@damelin.co.za for any queries that you may have regarding our official comment.

    On Tuesday, October 9th, 3rd Degree featured a segment on Damelin Brits; an independent franchise owned by Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. The show expressed concerns by a few students regarding the validity of their courses; allegations of taking

    their money and withholding certificates, and misleading them.

    The interview centred on a single franchise in the North Western Province, which has experienced financial
    difficulties, and is under voluntary liquidation. The franchise is authorised to offer Damelin short programmes.

    As confirmed by Debora Patta in the interview, Damelin has a good name and is a trusted brand, and we are committed to offering the highest standards of learning to students. For over 69 years, Damelin has been offering quality private education to people from all walks of life.

    We were invited on the show to clarify the accreditation of short courses and to respond to allegations that students were misled. This is our response:

    • Short courses are designed to meet students’ immediate training needs and are fit for use in the workplace.
    • The short courses that the Brit’s students registered for run between 12-24 weeks.
    • It is not a requirement for short courses to be registered with the Department of Higher Education (DHET), but they are quality assured by external specialists and the Damelin Academic Board.
    • Students are informed of these facts on registration by our student advisors, lecturers and through our websites. We also encourage students to ask questions before signing up for any course.
    • Damelin Brits is provisionally accredited with UMALUSI, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (FET 00426 PA), http://www.umalusi.org.za.

    We accept that a minority of students from the Brits campus had to wait longer than necessary for their certificates, due to a breakdown in communication with the franchise. However, we have resolved the matter and issued the certificates to the students.

    In terms of the agreement between Damelin and Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd, student fees are paid to Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. Any students who believe that they qualify for a refund of their fees, for whatever reason, will need to take legal action against Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd to whom they paid their fees.

    We want to assure students at the Brits campus that their current courses will be completed. Where possible, Damelin will assist students with other academic enquiries.

    Contact us on:
    0860 104 015 (8am-4pm, Wednesday – Friday this week).

    Pat Johnson
    Group Franchise Manager

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  • #43161

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Thank you Sylvia for the clarity.  Personally, I work for Damelin and urge others to see
    the press release that Damelin has posted on to our  Facebook and Twitter
    accounts. This is the official response to set the record straight”.

    DAMELIN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT

    Issued: 10 October 2012
    Durban

    Contact sam@damelin.co.za for any queries that you may have regarding our official comment.

    On Tuesday, October 9th, 3rd Degree featured a segment on Damelin Brits; an independent franchise owned by Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. The show expressed concerns by a few students regarding the validity of their courses; allegations of taking

    their money and withholding certificates, and misleading them.

    The interview centred on a single franchise in the North Western Province, which has experienced financial
    difficulties, and is under voluntary liquidation. The franchise is authorised to offer Damelin short programmes.

    As confirmed by Debora Patta in the interview, Damelin has a good name and is a trusted brand, and we are committed to offering the highest standards of learning to students. For over 69 years, Damelin has been offering quality private education to people from all walks of life.

    We were invited on the show to clarify the accreditation of short courses and to respond to allegations that students were misled. This is our response:

    • Short courses are designed to meet students’ immediate training needs and are fit for use in the workplace.
    • The short courses that the Brit’s students registered for run between 12-24 weeks.
    • It is not a requirement for short courses to be registered with the Department of Higher Education (DHET), but they are quality assured by external specialists and the Damelin Academic Board.
    • Students are informed of these facts on registration by our student advisors, lecturers and through our websites. We also encourage students to ask questions before signing up for any course.
    • Damelin Brits is provisionally accredited with UMALUSI, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (FET 00426 PA), http://www.umalusi.org.za.

    We accept that a minority of students from the Brits campus had to wait longer than necessary for their certificates, due to a breakdown in communication with the franchise. However, we have resolved the matter and issued the certificates to the students.

    In terms of the agreement between Damelin and Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd, student fees are paid to Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. Any students who believe that they qualify for a refund of their fees, for whatever reason, will need to take legal action against Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd to whom they paid their fees.

    We want to assure students at the Brits campus that their current courses will be completed. Where possible, Damelin will assist students with other academic enquiries.

    Contact us on:
    0860 104 015 (8am-4pm, Wednesday – Friday this week).

    Pat Johnson
    Group Franchise Manager

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  • #44202

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Thank you Sylvia for the clarity.  Personally, I work for Damelin and urge others to see
    the press release that Damelin has posted on to our  Facebook and Twitter
    accounts. This is the official response to set the record straight”.

    DAMELIN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT

    Issued: 10 October 2012
    Durban

    Contact sam@damelin.co.za for any queries that you may have regarding our official comment.

    On Tuesday, October 9th, 3rd Degree featured a segment on Damelin Brits; an independent franchise owned by Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. The show expressed concerns by a few students regarding the validity of their courses; allegations of taking

    their money and withholding certificates, and misleading them.

    The interview centred on a single franchise in the North Western Province, which has experienced financial
    difficulties, and is under voluntary liquidation. The franchise is authorised to offer Damelin short programmes.

    As confirmed by Debora Patta in the interview, Damelin has a good name and is a trusted brand, and we are committed to offering the highest standards of learning to students. For over 69 years, Damelin has been offering quality private education to people from all walks of life.

    We were invited on the show to clarify the accreditation of short courses and to respond to allegations that students were misled. This is our response:

    • Short courses are designed to meet students’ immediate training needs and are fit for use in the workplace.
    • The short courses that the Brit’s students registered for run between 12-24 weeks.
    • It is not a requirement for short courses to be registered with the Department of Higher Education (DHET), but they are quality assured by external specialists and the Damelin Academic Board.
    • Students are informed of these facts on registration by our student advisors, lecturers and through our websites. We also encourage students to ask questions before signing up for any course.
    • Damelin Brits is provisionally accredited with UMALUSI, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (FET 00426 PA), http://www.umalusi.org.za.

    We accept that a minority of students from the Brits campus had to wait longer than necessary for their certificates, due to a breakdown in communication with the franchise. However, we have resolved the matter and issued the certificates to the students.

    In terms of the agreement between Damelin and Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd, student fees are paid to Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd. Any students who believe that they qualify for a refund of their fees, for whatever reason, will need to take legal action against Naledi Katiso (Pty) Ltd to whom they paid their fees.

    We want to assure students at the Brits campus that their current courses will be completed. Where possible, Damelin will assist students with other academic enquiries.

    Contact us on:
    0860 104 015 (8am-4pm, Wednesday – Friday this week).

    Pat Johnson
    Group Franchise Manager

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  • #36828

    Cobus Cato
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia. This is indeed shocking things to hear, especially as this institution is such a well known name brand with a national footprint. We should however, not be blinded by the one or two very scary campusses who bring the franchisor in question. When the franchisee applies for a franchise there are specific requirements that must be met, and are met at the time. The franchisor grants the application based on the meeting of the criteria. I do also agree that the franchisor should be hel ultimately accountable for certain things during the franchising agreement. The only issue here is that damelin, being a very tall tree so to speak, now catches the wind. I deal with external training providers on a daily basis and we have adopted a process of Provider Approval before we engage with any external training provider in any type of training, and this also goes for our employees who apply for studyloans with specific institutions. Since we have started with our provider approval program we have come across many other, well established training providers who we will most certainly not do business with. There are other training provider who were very eager for us to visit their offices and show us their operation, these are providers who have all their ducks in a row and we will be delighted to engage with them when the time arises.

    What I want to say is this, do not knock all campusses because of one campus indiscretion and conduct a physical site visit to provider establishments before doing business with them, it is our right as employers to ensure we get the best possible deal for our employees.

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