ATC201022: Report of The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings on the Hearing of the EOH Petition Held on 16 September 2020, as Adopted on 14 October 2020
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON PETITIONS AND EXECUTIVE UNDERTAKINGS ON THE HEARING OF THE EOH PETITION HELD ON 16 SEPTEMBER 2020, AS ADOPTED ON 14 OCTOBER 2020
The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings (Committee), having considered the EOH Petition, referred to the Committee by the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on 06 November 2019, for its consideration and resolution, reports as follows:
The EOH Petition (petition) was submitted to the NCOP by Mr John Maropeng Cholo, (petitioner), submitted on behalf of learners that went through the EOH Learnership Training. The petitioner alleges that himself and the learners were inadequately trained during the learnership under EOH Abantu and therefore seeks the intervention of the Committee to address the grievances as articulated in the petition, to be trained on the 70% practical work for project management and roadwork construction which they were not trained on.
On 16 September 2020, the Committee held a hearing on the petition via virtual platform where the petitioner and relevant stakeholders were invited. The purpose was to afford the petitioner and relevant stakeholders with an opportunity to make first-hand oral submissions in relation to the subject matter of the petition.
The following Committee Members were in attendance:
2.1 Hon Z V Ncitha, ANC, Eastern Cape (Chairperson);
2.2 Hon S Shaikh, ANC, Limpopo;
2.3 Hon T S C Dodovu, ANC, North-West;
2.4 Hon E M Mthethwa, ANC, KwaZulu-Natal;
2.5 Hon B M Bartlett, ANC, Northern Cape;
2.6 Hon G Michalakis, DA, Free State;
2.7 Hon I M Sileku, DA, Western Cape;
2.8 Hon K Motsamai, EFF, Gauteng;
2.9 Hon Zandamela, EFF; Mpumalanga
2.10 Hon S E Mfayela, IFP, KwaZulu-Natal
The following Committee officials were in attendance:
2.11 Mr N Mkhize, Committee Secretary;
2.12 Adv. T Sterris-Jaffer; Committee Researcher;
2.13 Mrs N Fakier; Executive Secretary; and
2.14 Mr M Dumezweni, Committee Assistant
The following representatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training appeared before the Committee:
2.15 Mr Z Mvalo, Deputy Director General; Skills Development
2.16 Ms A Singh; Acting Director General; Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET)
2.17 Mr M Cakwe- Director - University Education;
2.18 Mr S Buthelezi - Chief Director - Center of Specialisation;
2.19 Mr W Whitefield, University Education Branch of the Department;
2.20 Mr M Lumka, Chief Director- Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) Performance;
2.21 Ms M Motla, Executive Manager: Office of the CEO (SSETA);
2.22 Ms C Monyane, Senior Officer: Special Projects; (SSETA)
2.23 Ms M Mathibe; Senior Manager: Special Projects; (SSETA)
2.24 Mr B Bingwa, Parliamentary Liaison Officer (PLO);
- SUBMISSIONS BY THE PETITIONER
In his brief submission to the Committee, the petitioner, Mr John Maropeng Cholo (Mr Cholo), alleges that they were inadequately trained during the Learnership Programme they undertook at EOH Abantu (Pty) Ltd. Indicating that they were issued with certificates of competence under the National Qualifications Framework registered Qualification (NQF) whilst they did not complete their practical training.
In addition, Mr Cholo submitted that at least 70% of the practical work was not undertaken by the time they were issued with their certificates of competence which ultimately compromised the skill-set that the learnership was meant to enhance.
Mr Cholo further alleges that they were misled by EOH Abantu (Pty) Ltd in that their learnership agreement was not aligned to the training they had received. Project management certificates were issued to them whilst they received no training in managing projects. As they were aggrieved by the lack of adequate training, and although they were provided with certificates of competence, they approached the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA) for resolution of the matter. However, according to the petition, when they approached the SSETA to raise their concerns they were “pepper sprayed” and chased away.
- PRESENTATION BY SERVICE SETA (SSETA)
There were no oral submissions made by the main stakeholders present i.e. the Department of Higher Education and the Service SETA, however, a written presentation was received from Service SETA that outlined the following:
The project was funded by the Services SETA and was facilitated by EOH Abantu (Pty) Ltd who are FASSET registered, levy paying stakeholders, as per the below screenshot from the DHET levy payer portal.
A total of 125 learners started the project and the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) was able to certify 106 of the original complement of learners that commenced the programme.
Review of the Project Implementation
InTouch Community Development & Project Managers is an accredited skills development provider with the CETA and they have confirmed that the said project was funded by the Services SETA and awarded to EOH. The learnership on which the learners were enrolled, has been identified as NC: Construction Road Works (Level 2). The learnership therefore falls within the scope of the CETA and so too does the quality assurance function with regardto accreditation of skills development providers and certification of learners.
InTouch has since provided the update below with regard to the implementation of the project in question:
- The workplace report provided to the CETA indicates that workplace training took place from 03 January 2017 to 31 July 2017.
- The project started with workplace training and InTouch came on board to facilitate the institutional learning from 31 July 2017, with induction, and concluded on 03 November 2017 – the duration of which was 04 months’ classroom training.
- We are further informed that the workplace training continued after the institutional training from 06 November 2017 until 14 December 2017.
- In summary, the duration of the workplace training was 08.5 months versus 03 months for the classroom training.
Role of the CETA
As this was a Services SETA funded project, the role of the CETA was to provide support through quality assurance.
According to the CETA policy, stakeholders implementing projects where the quality assurance function is performed by the CETA are required to initiate the project with institutional/classroom training. Training implementation for programmes such as learnerships are implemented on a 30% classroom and 70% workplace basis. For this project, it is noted that this method was not adopted on implementation of the project.
On 7 May 2018, the CETA performed external moderation for this project at the offices of InTouch. This is a normal process conducted by the CETA to conduct visits of this nature within the premises of the skills development provider.
According to the external moderation report, a total of 125 learners are said to have been recruited for this project and the team were furnished with only 106 samples of Portfolios of Evidence (POE’s) as a sample for moderation. The CETA samples a minimum of 10% of the total population which resulted in a total of 11 POE’s that were considered. It is important to note that the petitioners’ POE was not sampled but confirmation can be provided that the 11 learners and the petitioner were part of the same group of 106.
The outcome of the external moderation indicated after moderation of the sampled POE’s, the learners were found to be competent.
The CETA has in total certificated 106 learners including the petitioner. They further indicated that the duration of the project was from 03 January 2017 to 14 December 2017 and that the project was non-CETA funded.
The project commenced with work placement due to delays in appointment of training providers to which they were subsequently appointed after commencement. The decision to commence with the work placement component prior to the theory was due to immense pressure from the recruited learners that were eager to commence and as a result, EOH proposed and requested for commencement as they had already secured host employers. Services SETA approved the request based on the proposal submitted.
Upon commencement, learners raised their concerns against Services SETA highlighting that they were not exposed to relevant work placement which could have had a negative impact on their assessment at the end of the qualifications.
The Services SETA performed monitoring and confirmed that the work placement was indeed not suitable for the road works construction group while the project management group was correctly placed. In remediating the situation, the road works construction group was transferred to Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Centre where learners were exited from the programme successfully. Both groups were provided with their certificates however, the road construction group rejected their certificates indicating that hours spent on work placement were inadequate hence the petition.
Subsequently, the Services SETA appointed a service provider (PMA Holdings) to perform an independent and objective assessment on the entire contract due to complaints raised by learners with the objective of determining the validity of the allegations. The Service Provider commenced with their process from January 2019 and completed in October 2019. It was noted that no issues were identified in relation to the quality of training and the outcome was communicated to the learner in question.
Based on the results or outcomes of the assessment performed by the Services SETA and service provider, it concluded that the training was done in compliance with the quality management requirements for both qualifications, the certificates are valid and the learners are competent.
6. OBSERVATIONS AND KEY FINDINGS
The Committee made the following observations and key findings in relation to the various submissions made on the subject matter of the petition:
6.1 According to the presentation from Service SETA, petitioners were issued with certificates of competence under the National Qualifications Framework registered qualification (NQF)
6.2 The presentation further outlined that the learnership therefore falls within the scope of the CETA and so too does the quality assurance function with regard to accreditation of skills development providers and certification of learners.
6.3 According to the CETA policy, stakeholders implementing projects where the quality assurance function is performed by the CETA are required to initiate the project with institutional/classroom training. Training implementation for programmes such as learnerships are implemented on a 30% classroom and 70% workplace basis. For this project, it is noted that this method was not adopted on implementation of the project.
7.1 The Committee recommends the matter be referred to the National Department of Higher Education and Training for further investigation.
7.2 The Department of Higher Education and Training report back to the House with the outcome of the investigation within 6 months of tabling this report.
7.3 In addition, that the petitioner be informed about the resolution of the Committee once the report is approved by the House.
Report to be tabled for consideration.
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