Skills Development Providers (SDPs) & Training Providers

COVID-19 proves the necessity for science education & training

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    Tonight (Sunday 7th February 2021) I watched and listened with interest to Minister Mkize and his guests.

    COVID-19 has proved many things – some we knew, but did not want to acknowledge. When parts of the population live in adverse housing, without safe sanitation, and clean water, the whole population is placed at risk.

    I chuckle when I recall Minister Nzimande’s explanation of vaccination nationalism – when some countries hog vaccines at the expense of others. He said it’s like reserving part of a swimming pool – for those who want to pee in it.

    But much more than all of this, the presentations by Professors Mahdi and Gray proved beyond doubt the absolute need for science subjects at school.

    I know from engaging with Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) learners, that even percentages need to be taught, explained, understood, and practiced. The calculation of percentages is not intuitive.

    The presentations tonight needed understanding of so much more than percentages. How are scientific studies conducted; what is the significance of the sample studied; what is the difference between a media report and a peer-reviewed published paper; and so much more.

    This knowledge is also – not intuitive.

    Now a question for skills development providers: –
    knowing as we do, about the quality of much of the teaching at schools, how do skills development providers supplement gaps in knowledge in work-integrated learning (WIL) programmes?

    Yes, the Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) may not have considered it necessary to include in the occupational qualification, and so the curriculum, but you could add value.

    I would be interested in your opinions.

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