There are alternatives to university education
A MATRIC qualification these days is no longer enough. You at least need a post-matric qualification – if not a masters degree – to stand a better chance to landing a well paying job. Many matriculants prefer to study at a university in the face of the perception that having a degree is the key to a bright future. There are many university graduates who are jobless.
Further Education and Training (FET) institutions are an alternative for matriculants who want to further their studies but don’t qualify for university or lack finance. The advantage is that access is easy and fees are reasonable. The government is also pumping a lot of money into these institutions.
Yet matriculants disregard FETs and don’t see them as an alternative. There are various factors contributing to this attitude. The government doesn’t promote FETs enough, if at all. There is also a high level of lack of discipline in this institutions. Not forgetting the issue of unqualified lecturers as a result of nepotism and cronyism.
Chaos reigns there. The other day a friend related his sister’s story to me. His younger sister studied at an FET four years ago. To date, she’s yet to get her exam results. He’s tried everything – including writing to the Minister of Higher Education – trying to help his sister get her results but to no avail. He has given up.
Regardless, it is still my considered view that FETs are an alternative for matriculants. They can make the most out of their qualifications, despite the challenges facing this institution. During the height of apartheid, Bantu education was inferior and limited the majority of people of this country to certain careers. Yet some made the most out of it and became top lawyers, doctors, CEOs and so on. In their quest to further their studies, matriculants should also consider this institution.
For the record, I’m not in any way making a case against studying at university. Not at all. All I’m trying to do is to dispel the myth that having a degree is the only academic way to a better future. There are other ways other than studying at university.