Vigilance required for tertiary spend
HIGHER Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande, announced R7bn in investments this week that will be spent in the next two years on upgrading infrastructure in the tertiary education sector.
New universities are planned, along with new student housing, laboratories, other essential facilities and the maintenance of existing facilities.
This is obviously good news for the construction and associated industries, as well as for the education sector.
The programme also dovetails well with the longanticipated kickoff of the National Development Plan, which has job creation and infrastructure spending at its core. It is self-evident that the country needs jobs urgently and construction is one of the best ways to get thousands of people working at many levels of expertise.
The fact that the money is being spent around the country will also inject some capital into our poorer provinces.
Our education system leaves a lot to be desired in terms of producing the skills needed for a country to thrive in these complex times.
Reading, writing and arithmetic are no longer good enough for tomorrow’s workers. What is needed more and more are specialised skills, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.
Let’s hope the R7bn results in a crop of graduates with the smarts necessary to get our economy moving again.
Bricks and mortar and state-of-the-art laboratories are all very well but we need the calibre of teachers and programmes that can produce the best students.
We must not forget this as we set out to spend R7bn of taxpayers money.
OVERVIEW: The gigantic head of the legendary ethnic Miao goddess Yang’asha, (the Goddess of Beauty), being fitted to its shrine in Guizhou province, China.