National Assembly: Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I just want to give the
Minister the assurance that the IFP does support these three pieces
of legislation. The functions that you are expected to
perform are old and well known. They are skills development, FET
colleges, and the National
Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS.
Yet, in the tradition of
Charles Dickens, we have great expectations. On the basis of those
great expectations, the IFP will request the Hon Minister to look at
the following issues.
Firstly, we would like the
Hon Minister to reduce the gap between legislation and
implementation – in other words, between theory and practice. Our
legislation is top drawer but our implementation thereof leaves a
great deal to be desired. In other words, we must go beyond the
dialogues and the summits to which the Minister has referred.
Secondly, we would like the
Minister to look at the problem of the FET colleges. We believe that
the programmes of FET colleges are just not providing the types of
skills our economy requires. There also seems to be a mindset
attached to FET colleges which says that such institutions are
inferior to universities. This must be addressed because it is not
doing our programme or our learners any good.
Thirdly, we request the
Minister to conduct an audit of the teaching staff at FET colleges
and centres because we believe that certain FET training centres
have either unqualified educators or badly qualified educators. This
is more serious as it hinders the delivery of quality education to
FET learners and detracts from the country’s skills base.
Fourthly – and we would like
to raise this point for future policy considerations even though it
is not directly linked to this debate - we would like to have a more
concise definition of the term “educator”. In fact, the IFP wants to
be consistent here because, during the debate on the principal Act,
we did object to this wide and unlimited definition of the term
“educator” to include everybody and anybody.