The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has called on students at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to engage in discussions with authorities to ensure that campuses remain open.
“Students should allow for continuous engagements on all matters that affect post-school education. The National Development Plan raises various challenges within TVET and those are being attended to,” said Chairperson of the Committee, Connie September.
The South African Further Education and Training Student Association threatened a shutdown on Tuesday at all the campuses of the 50 registered colleges in the country.
The students raised concerns about the weak leadership, unqualified lecturers and lack of certification at colleges.
September said shutting down institutions denies the opportunity for engagement and deprives everyone the opportunity to further their much-needed education and the economy of the skills it needs.
The portfolio committee has recommended that TVET and community education and training be given equal attention, as they are part of the entire post-school education system in South Africa.
The committee has undertaken oversight visits to various TVET colleges and will continue with oversight in KwaZulu-Natal over the next few days.
“The committee supports government programmes that provide National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding to TVET applicants so that they do not bear fee increases. We also want to assure that certificates will be issued timeously and have called all the relevant institutions before Parliament to adhere to this,” September said.
She said the committee will continue to do oversight on college governance and financial accountability, as well as curricula and the qualifications of teachers.
“To continue this work and roll out much-needed infrastructure, we require the institutions to remain open,” September said.