Question NW1585 to the Minister of Higher Education and Training

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11 June 2018 - NW1585

Profile picture: van der Westhuizen, Mr AP

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

(1)What (a) steps has her department taken to assist the Tshwane South Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in its efforts to address the challenges experienced over the past few years and improve the quality of management, teaching and learning at this institution and (b) has/have been identified as the cause(s) of the disruption and tensions experienced in the institution in the past; (2) what has she found still needs to be done to address the challenges experienced by the institution; (3) by what date is it expected for the actions and/or interventions to show the desired results; (4) whether she has found that there are staff members who have been caught in the middle of these tensions; if so, what will be done to protect their interests?

Reply:

(1) (a) To improve the quality of management, the Department has supported Tshwane South Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in various ways through the Professional Development of Campus Managers Project and strengthening of management capacity at the sites of delivery. Two campus managers that were identified received training in Management and Leadership and a further four campus managers will undergo training in the 2018/19 financial year.

To improve teaching and learning, the Department assisted the college through the implementation of the Teaching and Learning Support Plans. The Department analysed the college’s readiness to provide quality teaching and learning focusing on seven critical areas, which amongst others, include classroom teaching and support, student assessment and in-house lecturer capacity development.

Concerning skills development, the Department has provided the college with skills levy funding for the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years. The college is required to submit training plans, and reports on training and development interventions carried out to improve the quality of management, teaching and learning.

The college reported that in 2016, 30 management staff, 105 lecturing staff and 71 support staff were trained in programmes relevant to their current job functions. In 2017, 54 management staff, 53 lecturing staff and 104 support staff were trained. So far, in 2018, 43 management staff, 46 lecturing staff and 54 support staff have been trained.

The Department has also developed a web-based Lecturer Support System wherein lecturers register as users and access training videos and other support material which they can download and use offline. To date, 259 lecturers and academic management staff at the college have registered as users on the LSS.

(b) Tensions and disruptions are experienced due to, amongst others, improper implementation of labour relations practices. Many of the tensions between management and staff, as well as between management and students, could be reduced through better management of labour relations, improved student governance, and improved students and staff work placement.

(2) Building good labour relations at a campus, i.e. training campus managers on the processes that are required to be put in place to avoid labour disputes. Building student centred campuses, i.e. training on the minimum standards required for effective campus teaching and learning; developing a campus learning culture and communication; planning for managing effective teaching and learning on a campus; implementing effective campus academic management; effective monitoring of teaching and learning by the campus manager; and feedback as a strategy to manage effective teaching and learning at a campus.

(3) It is expected for the actions and/or interventions to show the desired results progressively. The Department continues to monitor progress at the end of each trimester, semester and annually.

(4) The Department has not found any staff member to be in the middle of these tensions.

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