Question NW3064 to the Minister of Higher Education and Training

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21 November 2018 - NW3064

Profile picture: van der Westhuizen, Mr AP

van der Westhuizen, Mr AP to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training

(1) What are the plans of her department regarding the future of the curricula currently on offer at public technical and vocational education and training colleges? (2) whether the National Certificate Vocational levels 2 to 4 will be offered in the future; if not, why not; if so, (a) will all curricula be reviewed, (b) by what date will the reviewed curricula be introduced and (c) will the choice of curricula be widened or narrowed down; (3) are there any plans to review the (a) curricula and/or (b) minimum periods of study of the National Accredited Technical Education Diploma levels 1 to 6; if so, what are the details and proposed roll-out dates for such changes; (4) will new curricula that cater for the changes in the skills needs which are required by the jobs market, for example for the repair of mobile phones, computer-based graphic design, fibre cabling and logistics, be developed and offered at public technical and vocational education and training colleges; if so, by what date will the renewal programme be rolled out?

Reply:

(1) The Department is in the process of:

- Rationalising some of the Report 191 curricula, especially where there is poor uptake and where such subjects are no longer relevant. This involves 171 engineering-related subjects and 214 business studies-related subjects;
- Updating subjects, through the review process, where there are consistently high enrolments and where the skills sets are still relevant. Thirty-four subjects from N 1 to N6 are being revised in the current year with additional curricula targeted for 2019;

- Improving and updating several National Certificate (Vocational) [NC(V)] curricula.

The current revisions are in the Information Technology and Computer Science and Safety in Society specialisations; and

- Scaling up the offering of occupational programmes through the establishment of the Centres of Specialisation in colleges.

(2) The NC(V) programmes will continue to be offered for at least the next five years.

(a) Several NC(V) subject curricula have been reviewed and based on feedback received from colleges, and other stakeholders, these NC(V) programmes will continue.

(b) The system of review and implementation generally falls within a two-year period. It takes about six months to undertake the review and finalise the revised curriculum. The development of learning materials is undertaken over approximately eight months.

Lecturer development for 'gap training' is taken between November and December of the year preceding the year of implementation. Where all three levels of the subjects are affected, each successive level is introduced in consecutive years. Finally, the national examinations system has to have a final curriculum at least 18 months before the curriculum is examined. The Department adheres to this requirement in managing the implementation of the revisions.

(c) There is a need to rationalise some of the specialisations and subjects in the NC(V) programme to avoid overlap and duplication with other parts of the education system, such as Basic Education offerings. There are also poor enrolments in about five vocational programmes that have been identified for rationalisation.

(3) (a) Identified subjects in the Report 191 programmes are being reviewed.

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