Adult Basic Education & Training; Further Education & Training: briefing by Department of Education

Basic Education

25 June 2002
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


25 June 2002

Chairperson: Prof. Mayatula (ANC)

Documents handed out:
ABET AND SANLI: Presentation (Appendix)
Transformation of Further Education and Training: Progress

The Department briefed the Committee on the progress of ABET and FET programmes. Thy highlighted achievements, funding, challenges and recommendations for their programmes. The discussion focused on access to ABET and FET in rural areas and for disabled learners. The discussion was very limited due to time constraints.

Mr Hindle: Deputy Director General: General Education and Training, Department of Education, began by explaining the difference between Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) and the South African National Literacy Initiative (SANLI). He explained that while ABET was a medium term qualifications driven programme to upgrade skill levels, SANLI was a short term volunteer assisted initiative to eradicate illiteracy. He proceeded by listing legislative programmes that underpinned ABET. These include the ABET Act, which provides for the institutional framework and the Employment Equity Act, that governs conditions of service for adult educators. The final part of the presentation was statistical information on funding ABET and SANLI operations (please refer to the attached presentation).

Mr Lehoko: Deputy Director General: Further Education and Training, outlined the progress on the transformation of further education and training. He highlighted the provision of infrastructure during the transformation and also lessons that the Department has learned during the process. He proposed some strategies in the light of lessons that they have learned during the transformation processes and the present context of education. He concluded his presentation by listing recommendations towards challenges of providing further education and training.

Mr Van den Heever (ANC) asked if the ABET projects were in line with the Education Minister's time frames with respect to Tirisano.

Mr Hindle explained that the time frame was lifelong. No country ever eradicated illiteracy completely and that South Africa was no exception to that fact.

Mr Kgwele (ANC) suggested that it would be wise to have a provincial break down of figures of ABET participation so that the Committee could have a clearer picture of progress and problems experienced by ABET. He also wanted to know if ABET had improved access to its programmes especially in the rural areas. He asked Mr Hindle to list the programmes in rural areas.

Mr Hindle agreed that it would be a good idea to have a provincial breakdown of ABET figures. He then explained that there was no evaluation done so far on the progress and success of ABET. He agreed that the rural areas presented a challenge for ABET.

Prof Ripinga (ANC) agreed with Mr Kgwele on the need to provide a provincial breakdown of ABET statistics. He saw no significant increase in funding ABET and wondered if that did not hamper progress. Mr Hindle explained that the funding of ABET had not increased significantly in nominal terms but that by international standards it was significantly higher than other countries.

A Member (ANC) asked Mr Hindle if the Department's ABET enhanced access and support for disabled learners.

Mr Matlola (Director: ABET) explained that the issue of access to education for disabled learners was a general problem at all levels of education. He pointed out the fact that ABET sites were the very public schools that posed physical barriers for physically disabled learners. He concluded his reply by pointing out that the inputs that were made for inclusive education would also benefit adult learners with disabilities.

Another Member (ANC) agreed with Mr Kgwele and Prof. Ripinga on the need for the provision of ABET programmes in rural areas and suggested that the Committee should visit ABET sites in rural areas. He was concerned about the large proportion of dropouts compared to the intake.

Mr Hindle expressed his concern too about lower throughput against large intakes. He then explained that both the financial and non-financial cost of learning for adults was higher and that it could be the reason for higher drop-out rates.

Mr Vadi (ANC) asked if the ABET programmes had any co-ordinators who were educators in the public service.

Mr Hindle explained that because of low human resource capacity, the Department had no fully-fledged system of educators who co-ordinated ABET programmes.

Mr Kgwele commented that the Department should involve the private sector and that the Committee should support and popularise the skills development process. He then asked Mr Hindle how his office was taking advantage of voluntarism.

Mr Mpontshane (IFP) wanted to know if there was monitoring of officials in ABET sites. Mr Hindle explained that due to lack of capacity, there were no monitoring mechanisms.

The meeting ended abruptly due to the need to vacate the venue for another meeting. The meeting was adjourned.



Presentation to the Education Portfolio Committee
25th June 2002



· Medium term initiative to upgrade skill levels
• Qualification driven
· Focus on systemic development and maintenance.


· Urgent imperative to eradicate illiteracy
· Not qualification driven
· "Volunteer" based


· ABET Act provides for institutional framework, supplemented by regulations. NABABET due to be constituted shortly.

· EEA and subsidiary regulations (PAM) governs conditions of service for Adult Educators.

· Norms and Standards for the funding of ABET are under development. Proposals will be brought to the HEDCOM Finance Sub-Committee for initial consideration.


· Co-operation between the Departments of Labour, Agriculture, Correctional Services, Local Government and Education in the development of unit standard based ABET programmes.

· ABET level 1-4 programmes developed registered for the eight Learning Areas the GET band, as well as Applied Agriculture, Travel and Tourism and SMME Management.
and of

· "Umalusi" GENFETQA council established

· Assessment guidelines for CASS and Summative developed and distributed

· Assessment instruments under review as part of the GETC review, taking into account problems of 2001, and questions regarding the purpose of the L4 (GETC) qualification (exit standard only, or as an admission standard for FET?)

· Western cape writing in June; separate papers set for Mathematics and Mathematics Literacy (as fundamental)


Adult Learners 439 185
Adult Educators 18447
Adult Learning sites 2 328
· North West audit showed 406 260 learners


· SETA involvement in ABET

· R1 billion from National Skills Fund being distributed to SETAs for programmes outside of employment context, especially ABET
· 10 SETAs using this for 30 391 ABET learners
· 22 SETAs have registered 103 ABET learnerships, and 147 are pending, for skills development in the workplace. 1384 learners currently registered.

· lkhwelo Poverty Alleviation
R1 00m over 3 years; R59 m for 200213.

To be used for funding salaries of 240 adult educators, as well as 10 ABET co-ordinators (all posts currently advertised and shortlisted)

· Also used for the purchase of agricultural and sewing equipment for training purposes.
· 2253 adult learners trained in SMME and Applied Agriculture in Limpopo and Eastern Cape, under lkhwelo pilot


· DoE budget 2002/3
· R47 000 for celebration of Adult learners Week and International Literacy Day
· R789 000 for procurement and distribution of learning programmes and LSMs in all provinces

· Provincial spending
· R427 million in 200011
· R454 million in 200112
· Projected R1.2 billion by 2004

· ABET spending less than 2% of "ed spend"


· The work of SANLI is directed at the mobilisation and co-ordination of resources in the fight for universal literacy. It is not intended as a final delivery mechanism, and seeks to support and direct the valuable work being done by numerous NGOs and CBOs, as well as workplace programmes

· South Africa currently has 87% literacy rates, with 5.2 million people who have less than 4 years of schooling, and cannot read or write

· SANLI Board has been gazetted


· Statefunding

· lkhwelo R14 million
· Donor funding

· EU R35 million over 2 years
· DfID R17.8 million
· DANIDA R5 million
· SIDA R1 million
· MTN R500 000


· Project Learners


Poverty relief 60 000

EU 33 800

DANIDA 4 500

Molteno 2 000
210 300

In addition other government departments, especially Correctional Services, provide literacy programmes.


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