In a joint presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) reported that they have issued all but 655 outstanding certificates, 0,3 percent of the certificates that were outstanding at the beginning of the year.
DHET, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Umalusi teamed up WHEN? to eradicate the backlogs in issuing certificates.
DHET reported that systematic changes were made, in order to eliminate the backlog. These advances included improved IT systems, sign-off by Principals attesting to accuracy and completeness of data and weekly collaborative meetings.
They ensured alignments in systems and processes, as well as establishing and implementing a standard operating procedure regarding processes and timeframes for the certification process. In addition, a DHET-Umalusi task team was established to focus specifically on resulting and certification processes.
The DA’s Mr A van der Westhuizen raised concerns regarding whether DHET was adequately prepared to cater for the issuing of certificates in other sectors of education that sought to develop. Specific reference was made to the adult education for matric studies.
Mr M Mbatha (EFF) noted that he was disappointed that the challenges that the DHET expected to face in the future were the same challenges that the DHET was facing at the beginning of the current Parliament.
Whilst other committee members congratulated the DHET on the progress it made in eradicated the backlog, but noted that certificates played an important socio-economic role in the life of students and backlogs should not happen again.