Question NW2315 to the Minister of Higher Education and Training

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30 June 2015 - NW2315

Profile picture: Bozzoli, Prof B

Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training

Does his department have any time-specific plans for remedying the situation in National Technical Education programmes in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges, in which Umalusi has identified certain problems (details furnished);


  1. Initiatives to transform the National Accredited Technical Diploma (NATED) programmes require both immediate and long-term approaches. Currently, the Department and National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) are working collaboratively with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) as the lead partner to model the translation of the NATED programmes into occupationally registered qualifications under the QCTO. The Electrical, Plumbing and Financial Management programmes will be used as pilots in the modelling exercise involving all the relevant statutory, industry and education and training stakeholders. Once this process is completed, the model will be applied progressively to prioritise NATED programmes in engineering and some business related programmes. The curriculum, assessment, work-placement and certification requirements in the transformed qualifications are being addressed holistically, taking cognisance also of the quality assurance mechanisms that will apply across the qualification provision pipeline.

The Department has to rely on the services of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college lecturers to set and internally moderate question papers. All examiners and moderators are briefed annually in specially convened sessions prior to engaging in the setting and internal moderation of question papers. The completion of assessment grids, standards for marking guidelines and the rigour expected in the internal moderation of question papers are all addressed in these sessions.

Several additional examinations posts are to be advertised and filled by 31 March 2016 as part of the migration process, to facilitate the appointment of suitably qualified and experienced curriculum specialists. These officials will, amongst other duties, serve as moderators in the setting process and in so doing, address the completion of assessment grids, standards for marking guidelines and the rigour expected in the internal moderation of question papers.

Various examination centres submit inaccurate and poorly captured data in both electronic and hard copy format for resulting purposes per examination cycle. This does not only delay the approval of results, but brings the integrity of the process into question. The Department has recently completed and tested a national document on data verification standards of examinations for implementation by examination centres. All Information Technology (IT) service providers that service TVET colleges were involved in the process and the IT system administrators will be briefed when the Department hosts examinations support workshops across the nine provinces from August to October 2015.

The Department is not aware of any consolidated irregularity report that is still outstanding. The consolidated irregularity report for the November 2014 examinations cycle of the General Education and Training Certificate: Adult Basic Education and Training (GETC: ABET) Level 4 qualification was submitted late due to a delay in the response of the inputs required from Provincial Departments of Education. The Department has addressed this matter with the heads of examinations in provinces and agreed on the processes and timeframes to be adhered to for future examination cycles.

2) (a) Currently, there are 10 106 lecturers at TVET colleges.

(b) Work is underway to comprehend the skills shortfall of lecturers. Lecturers come from a varied background in some cases lacking pedagogical and technical skills. While an annual survey is done, it is not always possible to meaningfully identify the level of competence of lecturers.

(c) and (d) The Policy on Professional Qualifications for Lecturers in Technical and Vocational Education and Training was gazetted in May 2013. Universities are currently working on developing programmes that are aligned to the qualifications policy. The range of qualifications included in the policy will address the development needs of lecturers who are under-qualified, as well as those that may hold appropriate qualifications but need to develop pedagogical competence. The first programmes are likely to be offered in 2016, pending approval and accreditation by relevant bodies, and more will become available in 2017.

In the meantime, the Department has initiated a number of lecturer development activities such as continued curriculum updates on new curriculum. Recently, a Lecturer Support System was introduced with an aim to expand content updates to lecturers on a large scale. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Dutch government. In addition, we are also developing mechanisms for structured workplace exposure for lecturers. A protocol on lecturer exchanges will also be developed this year.

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