After spending some time getting to understand exactly what the National Learner Records Database (NLRD) contains, I have a concern that we are:
- looking for our horse shoes, when we've lost our horses - a Persian proverb found on the internet:
Why do I say that & what do I mean?
The NLRD is managed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
As I understand, the NLRD is keeping records of the achievement of South African qualifications - either by South Africans, or any foreign national.
But the NLRD is not keeping records of any acquisition of foreign qualifications - either by South Africans, or by foreign nationals, who are in - possibly working in - South Africa.
Now that might have served us well in the apartheid years when virtually nobody wanted anything to do with the pariah nation, but now we are in the big, wide, world.
And, on top of it, we are doing extensive research into vacancies that are hard to fill
(HTFV). Why? Because where the HTFV arises from a shortage of relevant skills - that will provide motivation to bring in foreign nationals.
So, my conclusion: all of the records on the NLRD currently, also exist somewhere else. But nowhere - I am aware of - do we have the foreign qualification database.
Here I must declare - I am a South African with a foreign qualification.
Therefore, as we are short of resources, and SAQA has half the person-power they had.
Why don't we stop trying to duplicate records that exist elsewhere, & rather start collecting the foreign qualifications? The foreign nationals (& South Africans) with foreign qualifications, will be approaching SAQA for verification and for equivalence anyway, so SAQA will have all the necessary details - the records just need to be centralised into the NLRD equivalent - in a much more modern database.