South Africa Minister of Higher Education To Expand Post-school Education and Training
The Post-school education and training sector is poised for expansion according to the Minister of Higher Education. This forms part of the department’s efforts to respond to the rate of youth unemployment by making the sector more accessible to a larger portion of the country’s population.
Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande has said that the Post-school education and training (PSET) sector needs to be expanded in order to curb the worsening level of unemployment in the country.
He was speaking at the Community Education and Training (CET) Summit held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The Minister further stated that this can be done by making PSET programmes accessible to members of the youth who did not manage to complete school as well.
This requires PSET institutions to offer a diversity of programmes, not only to take account of the needs of the youth who completed schooling but also for those who did not complete their schooling, in an integrated and articulated manner,
He further stated that expanding access and diversifying a highly articulated education and training provision, as well as improving its quality and responsiveness to the world of work, are the main policy objectives of the PSET system.
The two day summit was also intended to prioritise initiatives and activities aimed at strengthening and stabilising the CET college system and positioning them as significant providers of skills programmes in South Africa.
CET is a new sector within the PSET system. The sector’s roots can be traced back to the previous Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), which concentrated primarily on adult reading and numeracy.
Nzimande further pointed out that the transitioning of the sector has so far resulted in the establishment of 9 CET colleges across all provinces comprised of 1 791 learning sites under them.
He also pointed out that although the youth unemployment rate, measuring jobseekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 66.5%, the CET sector caters to all youth and adults, regardless of age
He warned that failure to integrate many people into the labour market threatens social cohesion