URGENT ACTION REQUIRED by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology to Extend ALL SETA Legacy Qualifications and Skills Programmes

All SETA legacy qualifications and each unit standard-based skills programme currently held within most of the SETAs will expire end of June 2024 and are due to be replaced by the OQSF (Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework) format qualification, which is composed of theoretical, practical, and work experience modules.

New qualifications were meant to be re-scoped and mapped out across all the. The qualifications were then meant to be implemented and managed by the QCTO within the NQF (National Qualifications Framework).

However, in less than 10 weeks all SETAs most Historical Qualifications expire with no replacement qualifications developed to be implemented as the replacements. This is going to create a huge crisis in all sectors of South Africa where there will be no educational facility to train and develop new skills and qualified individuals.

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) est 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act Nr. 97 of 1998 is mandated to do the following:

  1. Oversee the design, implementation, assessment, and certification of occupational qualifications, including trades, on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).
  2. Offer guidance to skills development providers who must be accredited by the QCTO to offer occupational qualifications.

The QCTO has failed in its duty to fulfil its mandated obligations of overseeing the design, implementation, assessment, and certification of all tourism guiding qualifications and skills programmes. There has also been a failure in offering support and guidance to skill development providers and occupational training delivery partners. Many of the due to expire skills programmes have not been aligned to the OQSF by the QCTO.  Occupations Qualifications are still not developed, nor are any EISA Centers registered.

In Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande’s presentation the following points were brought forth on the 23th of April 2024 as targets for the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology:

  1. Infrastructure development for the provision of service delivery.
  2. Significant reduction in unemployment including amongst graduates.
  3. Sustainable entrepreneurship, SMMEs, and cooperatives which promotes self-employment.
  4. Holistic digitization and advancement of technological infrastructure and development to benefit the country.
  5. Effective and efficient shared services on information and communications technology.
  6. Fundamental rural development.

The status of the SETA legacy qualifications and skills programmes and their imminent expiry place all these targets at risk. With no alignment or replacement to the current skills programmes within the OQSF this will result in increased unemployment for graduates as there are fewer qualifications and career path options.

A lack of infrastructure development for the provision of service delivery especially to remote areas of the country.

Little to no growth within sustainable entrepreneurship, SMMEs and cooperatives that promote self-employment as the ability to do these relies on professional and high-standard training and educational development.

Published on SA Training Forum.

Why is a education so important for a person

Education is critically important for individuals and society as a whole for several reasons:

1. **Personal Growth and Development:** Education helps individuals develop intellectually, emotionally, and socially. It provides them with the tools and knowledge to understand the world around them, think critically, and make informed decisions. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and a desire for lifelong learning.

2. **Empowerment:** Education empowers individuals by giving them the skills and knowledge needed to take control of their lives. It opens up opportunities for personal and professional growth, enabling individuals to pursue their passions and achieve their goals.

3. **Economic Opportunities:** Education is often linked to better job prospects and higher earning potential. People with higher levels of education tend to have access to more diverse and lucrative career opportunities. They are more likely to be adaptable in a rapidly changing job market.

4. **Social Mobility:** Education can be a powerful tool for breaking the cycle of poverty and improving social mobility. It provides individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with the means to improve their socioeconomic status and create better lives for themselves and their families.

5. **Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving:** A good education equips individuals with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This enables them to analyze situations, evaluate evidence, and make well-informed decisions, both in their personal lives and as responsible citizens.

6. **Citizenship and Civic Engagement:** Education plays a crucial role in developing responsible and informed citizens. People with an education are more likely to participate in civic activities, engage in public discourse, and contribute positively to their communities.

7. **Health and Well-being:** Education can improve health outcomes by increasing individuals’ understanding of health-related issues, promoting healthy behaviors, and enhancing access to healthcare information. It contributes to overall well-being and a better quality of life.

8. **Cultural and Social Awareness:** Education exposes individuals to a wide range of cultures, ideas, and perspectives. This fosters tolerance, understanding, and empathy among people from different backgrounds, promoting social cohesion and reducing prejudice.

9. **Scientific and Technological Advancement:** Education drives scientific and technological progress by producing the next generation of researchers, innovators, and problem solvers. Advancements in various fields are often a result of well-educated individuals pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

10. **Personal Fulfillment:** Education can lead to personal fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. Learning new things and achieving educational milestones can bring a deep sense of satisfaction and confidence.

In essence, education is the foundation upon which individuals can build successful, fulfilling lives. It provides the tools to navigate the complexities of the modern world, contribute positively to society, and continuously adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

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What is the meaning of Traditional Education in South Africa

In South Africa, the term “Credit Accumulation and Transfer” (CAT) refers to a system used in higher education to quantify and facilitate the recognition, accumulation, and transfer of academic credits between different educational institutions and programs. The CAT system is designed to promote flexibility, mobility, and lifelong learning for students.

Here’s how the CAT system works:

1. **Recognition of Credits:** Each academic course or module is assigned a specific number of credits, which represent the workload and learning outcomes of that course. These credits are typically based on the time spent in class, the amount of study and research required, and the expected learning outcomes.

2. **Accumulation:** As students complete courses and modules, they earn credits that contribute to their overall academic progress. These credits accumulate over time and count towards the completion of a degree or qualification.

3. **Transfer:** The CAT system enables students to transfer credits earned from one institution to another or from one program to another. This is particularly beneficial for students who might need to change institutions or programs for various reasons, such as geographical relocation or changing academic interests.

4. **Flexibility:** The CAT system allows students to build a customized educational pathway by selecting courses and modules that align with their interests and career goals, as long as they meet the prerequisites for each course.

5. **Lifelong Learning:** CAT encourages lifelong learning by recognizing and valuing learning experiences beyond traditional classroom settings. This includes recognizing prior learning, work experience, and other forms of non-formal education.

6. **Transparency:** The system promotes transparency in terms of credit allocation and transfer policies, ensuring that students have clear information about how credits are awarded and how they can be transferred.

Overall, the CAT system in South Africa aims to facilitate student mobility, improve the efficiency of credit transfer processes, and provide students with a more flexible and adaptable approach to higher education. This system is part of broader efforts to align the South African higher education system with international standards and practices while addressing the specific needs of the country’s diverse student population.

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What is the meaning of Outcome Based Education in South Africa

Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in South Africa refers to an educational approach that focuses on defining specific learning outcomes or competencies that students are expected to achieve by the end of their education. It shifts the emphasis from solely focusing on the content delivered to emphasizing what students can do with the knowledge and skills they acquire. OBE is designed to promote student-centered learning, critical thinking, problem-solving, and practical application of knowledge.

Key characteristics of Outcome-Based Education in South Africa include:

1. **Clear Learning Outcomes:** OBE defines clear and measurable learning outcomes that students are expected to achieve. These outcomes are often described in terms of specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values.

2. **Student-Centered Approach:** OBE places the student at the center of the learning process. Students are actively engaged in setting goals, monitoring their progress, and taking responsibility for their learning journey.

3. **Integration of Skills:** OBE emphasizes the integration of various skills, such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, into the curriculum. These skills are often linked to real-world applications.

4. **Assessment and Evaluation:** Assessment methods in OBE focus on evaluating whether students have achieved the desired learning outcomes. Assessment tasks are aligned with the defined outcomes and may include projects, presentations, portfolios, and practical demonstrations.

5. **Flexibility and Adaptability:** OBE allows for flexibility in how students achieve the learning outcomes. It accommodates diverse learning styles, paces, and contexts, allowing students to apply their knowledge in various ways.

6. **Continuous Improvement:** OBE involves ongoing feedback and reflection to enhance teaching and learning. Teachers and students work together to continuously improve the learning process.

7. **Alignment with National Qualifications Framework (NQF):** In South Africa, OBE is aligned with the National Qualifications Framework, which provides a framework for the development, classification, and recognition of qualifications.

It’s worth noting that while OBE has been implemented in South Africa, its effectiveness and implementation have been the subject of debate and critique. Some educators and stakeholders have raised concerns about the challenges of aligning assessments with outcomes, ensuring consistent quality across institutions, and balancing standardized outcomes with individual student needs.

The use and implementation of educational approaches like Outcome-Based Education can evolve over time, and it’s important to consult up-to-date sources from South African education authorities for the most accurate and current information about its status and practices within the country.

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What is the meaning of Common Core education

“Common Core education” refers to a set of academic standards in the United States that outline what students in K-12 education should know and be able to do in the subjects of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics at the end of each grade level. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative was developed to establish clear and consistent expectations for student learning across different states and school districts within the United States.

The key characteristics of Common Core education include:

1. **Clarity and Consistency:** The Common Core standards aim to provide a clear and consistent set of learning goals for students, regardless of the state or school they attend. This helps ensure that students receive a similar education regardless of their geographical location.

2. **Rigorous and Relevant:** The standards are designed to be challenging and to prepare students for college and career success. They emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and real-world applications of knowledge.

3. **Aligned with College and Career Readiness:** The Common Core standards are intended to align with the skills and knowledge needed for success in both higher education and the workforce. They emphasize skills that are transferrable across disciplines.

4. **Incorporating 21st Century Skills:** The standards emphasize skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and technological literacy, which are important for thriving in the modern world.

5. **Deeper Understanding:** The standards encourage a deeper understanding of subject matter by focusing on conceptual understanding, rather than rote memorization.

6. **Fewer, Clearer, Higher:** The Common Core initiative emphasizes streamlining and focusing on fewer topics but addressing them in greater depth.

It’s important to note that the Common Core standards were developed and implemented in the United States and have been a subject of debate and discussion within the country’s educational landscape. Some critics have raised concerns about the implementation, assessment methods, and the impact of standardized testing on education. Additionally, education policies can vary significantly from one country to another, so the concept of Common Core education might not apply universally outside of the U.S.

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What are the different skills development bodies for higher education in South Africa

As of my last update in September 2021, the following are some of the key skills development bodies for higher education in South Africa:

1. Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET): The DHET is a government department responsible for formulating policies and overseeing the higher education sector in South Africa. It works to promote and coordinate post-school education and training, including universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges.

2. Council on Higher Education (CHE): The CHE is an independent statutory body responsible for advising the Minister of Higher Education and Training on all higher education matters, including quality assurance and accreditation of higher education institutions and programs.

3. Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs): SETAs are responsible for promoting skills development and ensuring that education and training initiatives are aligned with industry needs. There are several SETAs, each focusing on specific economic sectors and industries.

4. National Skills Authority (NSA): The NSA is an advisory body that provides advice and recommendations on matters related to skills development and training in South Africa.

5. Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO): The QCTO is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and certification of occupational qualifications in South Africa. It collaborates with other bodies to ensure that qualifications are relevant to the needs of industries and the economy.

6. National Qualifications Framework (NQF): The NQF is a framework that provides a standardized system for comparing and recognizing educational qualifications within South Africa. It facilitates the progression and portability of qualifications across different education and training sectors.

7. Universities South Africa (USAf): USAf represents the interests of public universities in South Africa and serves as a coordinating body for issues related to higher education.

Please note that the information provided is based on the situation as of September 2021, and there might have been changes or developments in the South African higher education landscape since then. For the most up-to-date information, it is recommended to refer to official government and education authority websites.

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What are the key legislative policies related to post school education and training in South Africa.

As of my last update in September 2021, several key legislative policies related to post-school education and training were in place in South Africa. Please note that there might have been updates or changes to these policies since then. Here are some of the key policies:

1. National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act, 2008: The NQF Act establishes the National Qualifications Framework, which is a comprehensive system that ensures the quality of education and training in South Africa. It sets out the principles and guidelines for qualifications, allowing for the recognition of prior learning and facilitating lifelong learning opportunities.

2. Higher Education Act, 1997 (as amended): This act provides the framework for the governance, funding, and regulation of higher education institutions in South Africa. It establishes various bodies responsible for accreditation, quality assurance, and funding distribution.

3. Skills Development Act, 1998 (as amended): This legislation promotes skills development through various means, including the establishment of Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). SETAs are responsible for facilitating skills development and training initiatives in specific economic sectors.

4. Further Education and Training Colleges Act, 2006 (as amended): This act governs the establishment and functioning of Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, which offer vocational and occupational training to students who have completed their schooling.

5. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Act, 1999 (as amended): This act establishes the NSFAS, which provides financial assistance to eligible students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher education and training opportunities.

6. South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Act, 1995 (as amended): The SAQA Act establishes the South African Qualifications Authority, which is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the NQF and ensuring the development, implementation, and management of qualifications across all education and training sectors.

7. Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Act, 2012: This amendment act introduced significant changes to the higher education and training landscape, including the establishment of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a separate entity from the Department of Education.

8. Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006: This legislation governs the provision of continuing education and training programs in South Africa, which cater to adult learners who wish to enhance their skills and qualifications.

It is important to keep in mind that policies and legislation can change over time, and it is always best to refer to the latest official government sources for the most up-to-date information on post-school education and training in South Africa.

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What is competency-based education in South Africa

Competency-based education (CBE) is an approach to education in which learning is focused on demonstrating specific skills, abilities, and knowledge rather than simply completing a set amount of time in a classroom. In South Africa, competency-based education aligns with the outcomes-based education (OBE) philosophy, which is a fundamental aspect of the country’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The NQF is designed to promote quality education, ensure consistency across different qualifications, and enhance the employability of learners.

Key features of competency-based education within the South African context include:

  1. Focus on Learning Outcomes: Competency-based education emphasizes the achievement of specific learning outcomes, skills, and competencies rather than just the completion of courses or classes.
  2. Demonstration of Competence: Learners are required to demonstrate their competence through practical application, assessments, and evaluations. These assessments are designed to determine whether learners have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to perform tasks in real-world situations.
  3. Individualized Learning Paths: CBE allows for more flexibility in learning, allowing learners to progress at their own pace and focus on areas where they need more time or support.
  4. Assessment-Based Progression: Advancement is based on the successful attainment of competencies, which are assessed through various methods such as exams, projects, presentations, and practical demonstrations.
  5. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): CBE also encompasses the concept of recognizing prior learning. If a learner already possesses relevant skills and knowledge, they may be able to bypass certain parts of a qualification.
  6. Integrated Curriculum: Competencies are often integrated into the curriculum across different subjects and modules, providing a more holistic and practical learning experience.
  7. Industry Relevance: Competencies are designed to align with industry standards and requirements, ensuring that learners are well-prepared for employment or further studies.
  8. Transparency and Quality Assurance: The NQF provides a structured framework for the development, assessment, and recognition of qualifications. This helps maintain consistency and quality in competency-based education offerings.
  9. Learner-Centered Approach: CBE focuses on the needs of the learner and aims to develop practical skills that are relevant to their future careers.

Competency-based education in South Africa, underpinned by outcomes-based education principles, seeks to bridge the gap between education and industry demands. It emphasizes practical skills and real-world applications, making graduates more prepared to enter the workforce with relevant skills and competencies.

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What is competency-based education?

What is competency-based education?

Competency-based education is an approach to learning that emphasizes mastery of specific skills and knowledge rather than the completion of a set amount of time in a classroom. Students progress at their own pace, demonstrating their understanding of the material through assessments that measure their competency in each area. This approach allows students to move quickly through concepts they already understand and spend more time on areas where they need additional support. Competency-based education also promotes the development of important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. By focusing on mastery of skills rather than time spent in a classroom, this approach can help students more effectively prepare for the demands of the workforce and their future careers.

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Why is a education so important for a person

Education is crucial for several reasons, and its importance extends to both individuals and society as a whole. Here are some key reasons why education is considered essential for a person:

1. Personal Development: Education plays a significant role in an individual’s personal development. It fosters critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. Through education, people gain knowledge about various subjects and the world, which helps them make informed decisions and navigate life’s challenges effectively.

2. Empowerment: Education empowers individuals by providing them with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in life. It opens up opportunities for personal growth, career advancement, and economic independence. Educated individuals are better equipped to achieve their goals and pursue fulfilling careers.

3. Economic Opportunities: Education is often associated with higher earning potential. People with higher levels of education tend to have better job prospects and access to higher-paying positions. This not only benefits individuals but also contributes to overall economic development by fostering a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

4. Social and Cultural Awareness: Education broadens an individual’s understanding of diverse cultures, societies, and historical perspectives. It encourages empathy and tolerance, promoting social cohesion and reducing prejudice and discrimination.

5. Health and Well-being: Education is linked to better health outcomes. Educated individuals tend to make healthier lifestyle choices, have increased awareness of health issues, and are more likely to seek medical care when needed.

6. Civic Engagement: Education plays a vital role in fostering active and engaged citizens. Educated individuals are more likely to participate in civic activities, vote in elections, and contribute positively to their communities.

7. Innovation and Progress: Education drives innovation and technological advancements. It nurtures the skills and expertise necessary for scientific research, technological development, and improvements in various fields, benefiting society as a whole.

8. Reduced Poverty and Inequality: Education is a powerful tool in combating poverty and reducing socio-economic inequality. It provides individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with an opportunity to improve their circumstances and break the cycle of poverty.

9. Sustainable Development: Education is closely linked to sustainable development and environmental awareness. Educated individuals are more likely to understand and promote sustainable practices that contribute to a healthier planet.

10. Lifelong Learning: Education instills a love for learning and encourages lifelong learning habits. In a rapidly changing world, continuous learning is essential for adapting to new challenges and staying relevant in the job market.

In summary, education is crucial for personal growth, economic prosperity, social cohesion, and societal progress. It equips individuals with knowledge, skills, and the ability to think critically, making them more effective contributors to their communities and the world at large.

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