Higher Education Minister, Mr Blade Nzimande, said the Department of Higher Education and Training is working hard to resolve issues of TVET college students so that academics may resume.
Speaking at a press briefing after a meeting with stakeholders to address the issue of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in Pretoria on 26 January 2017, the Minister said the department is facing challenges that need all stakeholders to work together to resolve. He said some of the issues facing colleges can be dealt with in the short term, particularly by displaying goodwill and a willingness to engage.
Minister Nzimande said more time will be required to solve the problems and called for patience, understanding, and ongoing engagement and dialogue to resolve these challenge.
Mr Nzimande said that the department is still resolving the issue of outstanding certificates and has been instrumental in reducing the certification backlog for the National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications from 236 821 in August 2015 to 973 outstanding certificates. SITA has also committed to resolve all outstanding certificates for earlier examination cycles.
He added that the department remains committed to finding the resources to support the children of all poor working class and middle class families in their quest to better their lives and those of their families through skills acquisition.
“The government has made significant progress, and it continues to make significant progress in expanding access to higher education for the poor through NSFAS that has funded more than 1.7 million students since 1994.
“The mandate of the Department of Higher Education and Training is to develop a skilled and capable workforce that can contribute to a sustainable and inclusive growth path for our country, and the TVETs are crucial to this task,” Minister Nzimande said.