Degree not the only option
THE matric class of 2016 has recorded a slight increase of pupil pass rate compared to the class of 2015. These pupils are now going to embark on a journey towards the attainment of a higher qualification.
Tertiary institutions will be overburdened by the number of students intending to enter the system.
This is because the #FeesMustFall campaign last year made it impossible for some students to graduate, as the writing of examinations was either delayed or deferred to this year.
While the campaign had honourable objectives, the repercussions were dire, adding salt to the already existing wound of limited space at the institutions of higher learning.
The challenge that faces this country is that, despite the shortage of space at universities, education remains the only tool available to some young people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The class of 2016 and the youth in general should also consider occupational qualifications.
Occupational qualifications include qualifications like hot water system installation, organisational risk management or becoming a library assistant, to name but a few.
The main advantages of these qualifications are that they are relevant to the industry, the curriculum is up to date, and they take into consideration the needs of the 21st century economy.
Furthermore, these qualifications are rigorously quality assured by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), which is the body entrusted with the responsibility to develop and quality-assure these qualifications. Importantly, these qualifications are registered with the South African Qualification Authority.
Getting a degree from university is just one element of the post-school education system.
Occupational qualifications remain a viable option for our youth, and the class of 2016 in particular.
These qualifications are more than relevant to the economy. THOBANI KAMAJWABANA MHLONGO