Concern at low TVET entries
CONCERNS have been raised over the low number of matriculants applying for funding to study at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, despite attempts by the government to increase enrolment at the institutions.
Last week, Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor said when announcing more than 400 000 applications had been received this year for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), “it is a concern that only 24% of the applications are from learners who wish to enrol at TVET colleges, with the balance of 74% being applications for universities”.
This cast doubt on whether the government would reach its goal of having 2.5 million students enrolled at TVET colleges by 2030.
The period for NSFAS applications opened on September 3 and closed on December 3. Pandor said 63% of the applicants were female.
Principal at distance vocational-learning institution Oxbridge Academy, Elbie Liebenberg, said despite the economy being sluggish there was a continued demand for skilled workers.
“Too many young people opt for generic degrees at universities, and then find they are not adequately prepared for the real world of work, where employers look for people who can do specific jobs in specific sectors.
“Vocational courses are designed to equip students with job-relevant skills and provide the opportunity to earn a qualification that is directly linked to a chosen career path.”