18 June 2020 - NW1096
Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology
What (a)(i) assistance and/or (ii) funding will his department provide to technical and vocational education and training centres (TVETs) to ensure that they are able to implement Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to tertiary institutions and (b) oversight will his department perform over TVETs to ensure that Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to campuses are implemented across campuses?
(a) Assistance is provided to TVET colleges through Higher Health, which conducts daily screening and provides health care volunteers on every campus. Capacity development webinars on the COVID-19 Post-School Education and Training (PSET) guidelines and protocols have been conducted for TVET management in all the regions. Higher Health facilitated these sessions and over 1 000 management staff at TVET colleges have been trained. Colleges have reprioritised their budgets to take the necessary measures in line with the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Amongst others, college budgets have been redirected towards the procurement of personal protective equipment, sanitisers, facial masks, fumigation and the deep cleansing of campuses.
(b) The Department has been administering the TVET readiness assessment questionnaire on a weekly basis for the past four weeks. This was intended to assess the state of readiness of TVET colleges and report progress to the Department and Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19. Continuous monitoring, which includes on-site visits and the through the regional offices, the Department verifies the information provided by colleges. In addition, the Minister and Deputy Minister have recently visited several PSET institutions to assess and monitor the state of readiness for the phased return of students and staff to campuses under level 3.