Three-Stream Model; Fourth Industrial Revolution: Department progress report

Basic Education

08 May 2018
Chairperson: Ms N Gina (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) presented its plans for the implementation of a three-stream model in the South Africa curriculum, and how it was gearing the school system up to deal with the technological challenges of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Historically, the South African education system had focused mainly on the academic pathway, to the detriment of the other pathways. It still reflected appendages of the colonial era, where it had essentially been a platform to produce white collar workers as opposed to covering all aspects of an education system. This led to the high failure, drop-out and repetition rates, and too many learners had been pushed to go to universities. With the Three Stream Model, the Department believed that it would provide differentiated offerings to learners which would respond specifically to the diverse needs of South Africa and the country's youth. It would also respond to the skills needed for the changing world.

The Three Stream Model was delineated into three pathways -- academic, technical vocational and technical occupational. The Department envisaged that it could subject learners to public exams at the end of Grade 9, which would be helpful in terms of streaming learners into the further education and training (FET) field. The DBE’s intention with the technical vocational stream was to improve in producing artisans as part of responding to the National Development Plan (NDP). Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges had made an effort to produce artisans, but the foundation started with schooling. The Department had now heightened its relationship with industry, and industry had assisted in developing the curriculum, and were now on board in terms of sponsoring and funding the activities of the subjects related to preparing learners for the world of work.

The DBE had indicated its readiness to prepare learners to operate in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR), and therefore it would be preparing the youth for jobs that existed and jobs that were yet to exist -- jobs of the future. Some of the current jobs would become obsolete. The DBE had started with the emerging disruptive technologies. Three provinces had begun implementing them -- the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Free State – and were now part of the roll-out. The other provinces would be included should they indicate readiness. The key components of the digital competencies required were information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving.  The number of teachers trained was not increasing as fast as the DBE would like, but digital content could be accessed by teachers and learners using their own devices and getting service providers to zero rate access to the use of such content. The modernisation of the School Administration and Management System (SAMS) would be web-based and all the nine provinces would be participating, working with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

Members of the Committee were generally enthusiastic about the DBE’s new initiatives. Their main concerns were related to the current decline in the number of students taking technical subjects while the overall number of learners was increasing; how to provide teachers and students with laptops and computers to help them with their teaching and learning – and keep the devices safe from theft; the need for additional resources to equip half of the country’s schools with workshops; and how to ensure that today’s students did not end up as part of the jobless community in the future.

Meeting report

Basic Education: Three-Stream Model

Mr Hubert Mweli, Director General: Department of Basic Education (DBE), said that historically, the South African education system had focused mainly on the academic pathway, to the detriment of the other pathways. The Department’s Minister liked calling it an education system that still reflected appendages of the colonial era, where it had essentially been a platform to produce white collar workers as opposed to covering all aspects of an education system. The high failure, drop-out and repetition rates could be attributed to the same issue, and too many learners had been pushed to go to universities. The international trend revealed that only between 20% and 30% of the population would get into university and the rest of the population would be absorbed in other institutions that prepared young people for other areas of skills needed by other careers in the economies of the world.

With the Three Stream Model, the Department believed that it would provide differentiated offerings to learners which would respond specifically to the diverse needs of South Africa and the country's youth. It would also respond to the skills need for the changing world.

The kind of learner the Department wanted to emerge and to be produced by the system was one who would become a global player, as the DBE was not preparing children for South Africa but for the world. The skills and competencies that the children reflect should ensure that they functioned effectively and successfully as global players. Every learner going out of the system should at least be given the opportunity to reflect all the skills and competencies that the country had. It was also about moving the education system from what it used to be to what was required for now and the future.

One of the leading think tanks in the world, the Brookings Institute, had conducted a research study on 15 countries, including South Africa, to analyse the curriculum statement to check whether they encapsulated the skills required for the changing world. The Institute had found that the South African curriculum embraced the skills required for the changing world, essentially the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), but it also found that teaching remained a challenge because teachers did not seem to be trained to unearth the imbedded skills in the curriculum to reflect the competencies and knowledge of the learners the education system was producing. Teacher training was therefore an area the Department was focusing on, to make sure it was responding to the findings of the Brookings Institute.

The National Development Plan (NDP) enjoined the country to ensure that the education system provided for different pathways, providing young people with high quality learning and opportunities. This was what the Three Stream Model was -- delineated into three pathways: academic, technical vocational and technical occupational. The Department envisaged that it could subject learners to public exams at the end of Grade 9, which would be helpful in terms of streaming learners further on in the further education and training (FET) field. The main issue in the academic pathway, according to the NDP, was that there needed to be an increase in the number of learners who did mathematics and science so that they could further their university studies and related careers. The NDP target was 450 000 learners, but South Africa was hovering around 200 000 or even below, depending on the number of learners enrolled each year.

There was a geometric decline in the number of learners in mathematical literacy and a steady increase of learners in mathematics and physical science. Experts said that it was because mathematical literacy demanded a lot of reading, whereas mathematics and physical science were about understanding and applying formulas. There was a need to focus on the rationalisation of schools that were in the same area and offering the same subjects so that there were more diverse subjects offered in the area. The Department had begun addressing the issue from institutional arrangements, by improving the selection and combination of subjects.

Mr Mweli said that the Department spoke about the need to increase focus schools, with an emphasis primarily on aviation schools. This was so that each province would have a focus school. Gauteng would be starting an aviation focus school before the end of this year. The other eight provinces were being encouraged to do the same.

The Department’s intention with the technical vocational stream was to improve in producing artisans as part of responding to the NDP. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges had made an effort to produce them, but the foundation started with schooling. Having capitalised on this, technical high schools would be able to prepare learners to become artisans as part of the response to the NDP. The Department would be implementing what it called CAPS 2 -- a curriculum and assessment policy statement on technical subjects. It had been introduced three years ago, starting with Grade 10 in 2016, which meant this year would have the first group of matriculants who would be writing an exam based on CAPS 2. CAPS 2 had moved away from congested civil, mechanical and technical technology, and had been broken down into the three areas of specialization and learners would be expected to have minimum of one of the three areas of specialization, and the rest were mandatory for all learners. There was a demand from industry, because they wanted employees who were grounded on these three areas of specialisation. It was coming to full fruition in terms of the technical vocational stream.

There were five areas involved when introducing anything new into the curriculum of Basic Education. The first would be the development of the curriculum, and distributing the new learning programme to all schools; the second was the training and organising of teachers; the third would be the institutional readiness; the fourth, the development of Learner and Teacher Support Material (LTSM) and the textbooks required for the curriculum; and the fifth would be preparing for exams.

Exams were an 18-month cycle and the presentation was the up to date in capturing how those preparations had been made. Training had been done, starting from Grades 10 to 12. There would now be something called technical mathematics and technical science, which would support learners with calculations involved in areas of specialisation such as welding and electricians. An audit had been carried out to look at the state of readiness in schools that offered these areas of specialisation.

Part of the reason why some of the parents were not encouraging learners to do these subjects was because they were not part of what used to be called the ‘designated list.’ The 29 subjects on the designated list were the subjects that universities focused on for learners to do a Bachelor’s programme, and subjects that were not on that list would not be recognised by universities even if the learner had achieved a distinction for them.

Mr Mweli added that the former Minister of Higher Education and Training, Professor Mkhize, had revoked the designated list and from this year all subjects were to be recognised. This meant that the Bachelor passes this year would be based on all subjects and that there would be an increase in the number of Bachelors recorded compared to previous years.

The Department had now heightened its relationship with industry, and industry had assisted in developing the curriculum, and were now on board in terms of sponsoring and funding the activities of the subjects related to preparing learners for the world of work. The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA) had adopted one school per province. A memorandum of agreement had been signed by the DBE with MERSETA, and a team had now been established which was getting industry to work with the Department.

Mr Mweli said that the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) curriculum offered by TVET colleges, with the advent of the three stream model, could now have some of its subjects offered at the school level. The TVET colleges would now need to move from National Qualifications Framework (NQF)4 to NQF5, which meant they would provide a qualification higher than schooling, operating like the old technikons so that learners who attended those colleges would only be learners coming from matric, unlike at the current moment where learners from Grade Nine were able to go to these colleges. This would create a clear distinction between schools and TVET colleges.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) had agreed to this, stating that the DBE would not need to go through a rigorous process of policy review and changing legislation because policy allowed for the move of TVET colleges to a higher qualification.

The technical occupational stream had been necessitated by skills programmes which were offered by schools in the name of learners with special education needs, who could not make progress in an academically-inclined curriculum. Through looking at skills and vocational programmes, the Department had come up with the technical occupational stream because the NDP stated that the country's education must be inclusive in terms of its offering, although in the beginning it would focus on addressing the drop out rate at the end of Grade Nine for learners with special education needs. Learners from ordinary schools would also benefit from it, because the stream would not only focus on learners with special education needs. If learners did not find traction from the academic stream or the technical vocational stream, the technical occupational stream would be available as an option.

Mr Mweli commented that progress with regard to the implementation of the technical occupational stream was that the DBE had continued with the programme to this year, because last year it had not taken full shape. The schools indicated on slide 43 were the pilot schools in all the provinces. The teachers in the Western Cape were part of the initial training, so they were not being trained in 2018. Slides 44 and 45 listed the 26 subjects which had been subjected for review and showed the subjects that would be offered in skills schools and some that could be offered in ordinary public schools. There were five areas which needed to be looked at the technical occupational stream -- what had been done with the curriculum, teacher development, institutional readiness, the progress made in LTSM, and exams.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The DBE had indicated its readiness to prepare learners to operate in the “fourth industrial revolution” (4IR), and therefore it would be preparing the youth for jobs that existed and jobs that were yet to exist -- jobs of the future. Some of the current jobs would become obsolete. The World Economic Forum had projected the competencies and jobs that people needed to have by 2015, but when projected to 2020 the list of skills which would be required for competency changed a bit. The good thing was that those skills were imbedded in South Africa's curriculum. The challenge would be the ability of teachers to teach and assess, based on those skills.

Mr Mweli then provided an outline which indicated that the 4IR would lead to the growth of broadband access and usage, the emergence of technologies, and 5.1 million jobs projected by the World Economic Forum study which would not exist beyond 2015 in the labour market.

The DBE had started with the emerging disruptive technologies. Three provinces had begun implementing them -- the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Free State -- because they had indicated a readiness to start. Those provinces were now part of the roll-out through the Lego Foundation, and other provinces would be included should they indicate readiness. The key components of the digital competencies required were information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving.  The role of the digital revolution was very important in how people’s lives operated, looking at the necessity of data in everyday functions.
 
The conditions created for the 4IR were crucial. Connectivity had not moved as fast as the DBE would have liked -- from the last time it presented, connectivity had been at 30% and it was now at 64%.. Vodacom and UNISA played a very important role in allowing access to connectivity. The number of teachers trained was also not increasing as fast as the DBE would like, but digital content could be accessed by teachers and learners using their own devices and getting service providers to zero rate access to the use of such content.

The modernisation of the School Administration and Management System (SAMS) would be web-based and all the nine provinces would be participating, working with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). The Northern Cape and Western Cape would be coming on board, as they were previously not part of the utilization of the SAMS because they had their own information systems, but the agreement was that as soon as the modernised SAMS was ready, they would come on board. This was so that the entire schooling system used the same information system. A data-driven district dashboard would allow the Director General to monitor every school in the system from Pretoria, through funding from the Helen Suzman foundation.
 
Mr Mweli referred to digital content development in terms of e-Learning, and said the private sector had invested a lot in digitising the DBE textbooks. The DBE had its own TV channel which supported and prepared learners for exams. The Department would also be modernising exams, known as e-Exams, and the modernization of the business intelligence system, the online registration system and online re-marking system were some of the progressive modernisation processes towards digital content development.

The Teacher Assessment Resource for Monitoring and Improving Instruction (TARMII) had been piloted in two provincial education departments (PEDs) as an online platform for teacher and learner support in assessment. E-Governance would be modernised in respect of the information system, while modernising business processes would involve the digitising of submissions to the Department would so that they could be easily accessed by the receiving parties.

The DBE’s plans for the 4IR stated that assessments would not only be done through a written mode. Projects could be used for assessment as exams. This was called performance assessment. The Department was reviewing the LTSM to make sure it was in line with the new curriculum content.

Entrepreneurship was alive and well in the system, but it was not on the scale the Department would like it to be. Students from the Eastern Cape had entered the Global Entrepreneurship competition with over 5 900 schools from 110 countries competing, and they had come out number one in the world. Entrepreneurship provided solutions to social economic issues. The Human Resources Development Council of South Africa (HRDCSA) had established a technical task team with a mandate to develop a set of national recommendations on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship to address youth unemployment, given that South Africa's youth unemployment was the third highest in the world. Identifying the DBE as the implementing agent, as part of the sector plan on entrepreneurship in schools, the HRDCSA had proposed four key result areas (KRAs). KRA 1 involved collaborating with the Foundational Learning Task Team, KRA 2 was to introduce mandatory entrepreneurship education, KRA 3 was providing teacher education for new and existing teachers, and KRA 4 involved actively encouraging businesses to engage with local educational institutions. The state of readiness showed an agreement to avoid bringing in too many new subjects and rather using the existing subjects.

Mr Mweli said he would look at what already existed in the FET colleges and their importance in regard to the participation rate, which was the number of learners doing the subjects, and the success rates, being the number of learners who took the subjects and passed well in the various provinces for the various subjects. The findings of this analysis could be found from slide 105 to slide 156 of the presentation.

Discussion

The Chairperson said she had noted a one very important point which formed the basis of the presentation and all the discussions that had taken place – that the DBE was preparing learners for the future, but as long as the challenge of teaching persisted, they could not move forward. Quality teaching was where the Department had to invest.

Mr I Ollis (DA) referred to the ‘three streams,’ with the third stream being for disabled learners. As the curriculum of the technical occupational and the technical vocational streams looked the same, he did not understand why the DBE did not just say it had two streams. In Germany, they had a two-stream model which worked well, and he saw confusion arising between the technical vocational and technical occupational streams because the only difference was that one had disabled learners, but other than that, theoretically they looked the same.

He referred to the technical subjects at the end of the presentation, and said that apart from the art subjects, the general trend was that the big provinces were reducing the number of students doing technology subjects, but student numbers were growing. This struck him as being a bad trend, and he wanted to know the reason for it.

Regarding teachers and computers, he wanted to know the process when a school teacher needed a laptop or computer, and whether they got an allowance in their salary package to purchase one, or did they have to use a computer at the  school, or was a laptop or computer loaned to them. If there was an allowance, how much was it? If they did not get money, was there a loaned device and if so, how did teachers learn how to use it? Could they take it home to teach themselves how to use it, because at school they had to focus on the learners? Many teachers came from disadvantaged areas where they had no access to computers, so they needed to learn how to use them because they would not be able to teach their students something they also did not understand.

Mr A Botes (ANC) said that 65% of primary students who entered schools today would go into job that we did not yet know about when they graduated. This was a decisive intervention and forward looking by the Department. Why was there a mass of young people coming through the education system, passing matric, but remaining part of a jobless population. The presentation had addressed where the country had gone wrong, as opposed to a country like Germany, which was automotive and engineering driven. He asked the Director General to give examples of some of the needed schools that he had spoken of. Was there a sector specific demand in cases like aviation, and what was the purpose of developing this new outlook? He recommended that there should be an expansion of relationships with other SETAs, and not just MERSETA, as the focus could not be just on manufacturing. There had to be transmission of knowledge from one person to another.

Mr H Khoza (ANC) said the DBE’s initiative must be applauded. He was excited by the 4IR, which was preparing learners for the present and the future. He was concerned about the readiness and competency of teachers in communities affected by the programmes. With the country’s limited resources, how was the Department prioritising the beneficiaries of these projects? The current situation required teachers to be upgraded, but school-based teacher development (SBTD) was a continuous process that expected teachers to be upgraded. There was already an outcry that teachers were always out of the class. Did the DBE have a way of ensuring that while upgrading it prioritised teaching and learning in class at the same time?

Ms H Boshoff (DA) asked how the DBE was going to compete with the broader market to entice people towards teaching, because it was a skill that was acquired and not just given. Mechanics and engineers were paid salaries with which teachers could not compete, so how would the Department get these people to come and teach? Had there been consultations with the DHET and if so, what were the outcomes?  There was a problem of stigmatising learners who came from poverty-ridden backgrounds and although not necessarily in the special needs field, had not been able to master the academic stream. How did the Department ensure that those learners were not placed in the occupational stream? LTSM looked great on paper, but when oversight was done, LTSM had not been available, especially in rural schools.

Half of the schools would have to be fitted with workshops with the new industrial revolution and three stream model, so how far was the DBE when it came to that? With the non-academic two streams, what certificates would be provided to the learners? By 2030, at least 60% of occupations would be automated -- was the DBE ready to tackle the fact that many people would most probably sit without work. How would it ensure that this new model would not be part and parcel of the 60% jobless from the new streams?. DBE must consider the fact that people wanted computers, but they had to advance human intelligence and not become its opposition.

Ms N Tarabella-Marchesi (DA) suggested that instead of expecting qualified people to come to the school, there should be a direct partnership with industry, allowing the learners to be exposed to the actual industry which could be achieved only by partnering with the relevant SETA. The SETAs should find out how they could take part in the programme so that the learners could partner with the industry that was of interest to them, and acquire the appropriate skills. Learners would leave the programme with not just a piece of paper, but also with experience. She sought clarification on the expected R57 million budget cut specifically affecting mathematics, science and technology, while there was an increased participation in these subjects.

Ms J Basson (ANC) said the initiative was exciting and she would like to see it being realised fully. It was inclusive of learners who had been neglected. The problem with pilot provinces was that Gauteng was always included in the plans. When was the programme expected to reach all the provinces, because the DG had said the others would follow and learn from the pilot provinces, without providing a set timeline. Good quality education meant good quality educators. After completing these courses, were the learners going to receive an accredited certificate, and was Umalusi in agreement? Online re-marking was a point of interest -- how long would it take for learners to receive their re-marked papers?

The Chairperson expressed that she was excited about the Grade 9 exit exams. When would the upgrading of the NQF level be realised for students to be able to move after matric to the colleges? Could the DG assure the Committee that come the start of exams, there would not be any glitches? How was the Department planning to create awareness for communities to know about these developments?

DBE’s response

Dr Moses Simelane, Director of Inclusive Education, DBE, said that before drawing from international examples when speaking on whether the model should be two or three streams, one should look at South Africa’s context, which was different from the context of other countries. What was provided in the curriculum had to complement the South African context, and meet the diverse needs of the learners. Malaysia had three pathways from Grade Ten, and if one took an African country like Ghana, there were five pathways at the upper secondary school level, while Finland had a two stream model. These variations existed because each country had a model best suited for its needs and the context within which they had to deliver programmes. In South Africa, some learners might not move past Grade Nine to get to the FET level, and would look for employment. One of the differentials was the theoretical versus the practical, with the academic stream being mainly theoretical and learners progressing to higher institutions of learning. Technical vocational was a fifty-fifty split between practical and theoretical. Technical occupational looked more at practical than theory. People were different, and this diversity had to be catered for.

He had yet to observe provinces which were experiencing a decline in the number of learners taking technology subjects as a pattern. He would have to observe the issue further to establish the situation, rather than responding with a guess which might not be correct.

Dr Simelane responded to Mr Botes, indicating that the Minister of Basic Education had established a task team which had different critical partners participating. The task team would be overseeing the entire process of introducing and strengthening the three stream model. The Department was also working closely with a number of sectors, including the Department of Science and Technology. With the idea of increasing the number of focus schools, the DBE was looking at aligning with economic zones. It had representatives from different departments and was working with the various departments on its innovations, as informed by the NDP.

Regarding teacher development for CAPS 2 for technical institutions, the DBE was using the training centers of its partners of industry in order for teachers to get a hands-on experience of what they were teaching, instead of the training being purely theoretical. The DBE could further develop partnerships with industry to form an apprenticeship programme to get the exposure in the various fields.

Dr Simelane responded to Ms Boshoff that an annual audit was conducted at the schools and the workshops and other facilities that were expected to deliver the curriculum through the Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) grant. Provinces were provided with the financial resources for the procurement.  The DBE had put in a bid to National Treasury to introduce the three stream model, because the MST grant would not be enough.

The partnership with industry did include the use of their resource,s including their training centres.

The stigmatisation around technical vocational and occupational pathways was a global phenomenon and not purely a South African phenomenon. Instead of getting more students on the streets, there would be more of them getting jobs and starting businesses and perhaps this would change the perception towards these pathways. All the critical players in the education system had been involved, including Umalusi. Learners should be able to move from a technical vocational to technical occupational, and vice versa.

Mr Seliki Tlhabane, Acting Chief Director, agreed with Mr Ollis that the time teachers spent with their devices would give them the advantage of learning the skills they needed for the classroom. In the Eastern Cape, all foundation phase teachers had been given laptops and other devices to take home with them, to assist them in delivering their lessons and administering their classrooms. In Gauteng learners and teachers were given devices for the entire year, but only 40% of the devices had been returned. Some schools would lock the laptops away after use, but would have break-ins, so whether they were given to learners of stored away, there was a low retrieval rate. The Department agreed with the principle of teachers engaging with the machines.

In response to Mr Botes, he said the DG made it a priority that the Department work with sister departments because they played a critical role in assisting with articulating the curriculum. The jobs that would exist in future would be created through the influence of those that already existed. The role of the teacher in the 21st century would remain central, but would change. They were preparing learners and teachers for this type of future, where there would be E-marking, which meant machines would be marking but there would be certain functions that machines would not be able to do. They could not empathise, so a teacher would always be necessary.

Mr Tlhabane responded to Ms Boshoff's observation of the table on page 70, saying that the numbers seen there were a baseline of the statistics from 2014 and 2015.

The Chairperson asked Mr Mweli when they would get an updated version of the statistics, because the presentation had been made recently.

Mr Mweli said the Department was aware of the challenge of resources, as pointed out by Ms Tarabella-Marchesi and Mr Khoza. The funding in the DBE had declined by close to 10% in the past seven years, with MST being one of the grants that had suffered from the budget cuts. Even in the midst of poverty, creativity and the use of the resources you have would attract investors, such as business and industry which had come on board.

He suggested Mr Ollis should understand and appreciate the need for the two streams he had said were the same. Even Germany used to have a three-tier schooling system in a two-stream model which was relevant for their context. What made those countries different from SA was that in those countries, the partnership with industry was highly regulated in legislation.

The Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI) never took off, because the modality was for teachers to buy their own laptops and then subsidise them when the purchase was made, but the issue was that generally the country's public servants were not credit-worthy, which had collapsed the project. The Eastern Cape had a transversal tender called the RT15 which was offered through Vodacom, and laptops could be purchased at an affordable rate. The Department and individuals could procure laptops through RT15 as part of improving their education in the Eastern Cape. The tender benefited everyone in government.

Mr Mweli said it was important to remember that when looking at the challenge of quality educators, 80% of those educators had been trained by the apartheid system to provide poor education. The initial teacher development programs had been designed in such a way that teachers taught what would not take the country far. Although the new teacher development training programs were trying, the foundation of those teachers was very solid and thus very difficult to change. However, the new teachers were providing better subject content.

Mr Mweli responded to Mr Khoza on what to do with each of the identified challenges, reminding the Committee that technical high schools were very expensive to run and at least 60% of schools would need to be shared between technical vocational and technical occupational.

Aviation schools in the immediate future would be needed to support a common mode of transport, where there would be a need for not only pilots and air hostesses, but also for technicians to build the aircraft and helicopters. Every province would have to have an aviation school which would focus on mathematics, science and geography while working closely with the aviation industry for learner exposure in aviation.

The DBE had met with industry, universities and social partners to consult on the training of teachers for vocational an occupational courses.

Mr Mweli said that participation versus the success rate was the number of students that took a course versus the number of those who passed. The Western Cape had the low participation rate in mathematics, but a high success rate. The issue of computers not competing with humans could be looked at in the sense that computers could not engage in critical thinking. Even Googling requires a person to search for something. Social skills were still required. The most difficult thing to do was to train learners for things that did not exist.  In other countries there were virtual schools already.

He told Ms Basson that the provinces in the pilot program where those who jumped in and stated they were ready. The training by the Department, as projected in the presentation, was an orientation programme and not for an official qualification. Only schools that the audit indicated as being ready for the programme, had been chosen. Learners would be accredited at NQF level 4. There was no definite date of when TVET colleges would be moving to NQF level 5.

The Chairperson commended the Director General and his team. She said it was an ongoing topic, and the discussion had encouraged hope and inclusivity.

The meeting was adjourned.

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