Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor believes community education and training (CET) is about giving hope and restoring human dignity so that the disadvantages of the past no longer define people’s future prospects.
Speaking at the Good Shepherd Community Learning Centre at Madidi Village in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality in North West, Minister Pandor said South Africa has about nine million illiterate people and community education and training, with effective and proper programmes, is an important step towards addressing this.
Good Shepherd CLC is a delivery site of the Community Education and Training under the North West Community College – one of the nine Community Education Colleges in South Africa.
It caters for students and communities of Sofasonke, Mashamplane, Klipgat, Lekgema, Moiletsoane, Ndlovu, Winterveldt, Phasha, Mabopane, Odiburg,Serope, Hebron, Kgabalatsane, Erasmas, Garankuwa, Soshanguve, Tsoname, Oskraal, Rabokala, Maboloka,Letlhabile, Shakunyaneng and Dipompong.
Besides the Adult Education and Training academic programme, the Centre runs the following projects; Sewing and Knitting machine section; Beadwork; Hairdressing; Computer Labs: MS office including (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and office procedures); Catering projects; Office Procedure; Electronics; The Clinic; Food parcels; Counselling; and Preschool/Early Childhood Development.
The 2013 White Paper for Post-School Education and Training provided for the establishment of community education and training colleges that targets post-school youth and adults who wish to pursue further learning, and improve their skills for employability and/or progression to opportunities in the TVET colleges and university education.
Nine community colleges, one in each province, were established in 2015. These incorporated about 3,279 adult learning centres. mainly for those who do not qualify for admission to TVET colleges or universities.
Government has since committed to increase youth and adult involvement in the community education and training to one million by 2030.
Minister Pandor said she was aware that the idea of community education and training was new and that the CET Colleges need to be better resourced.
“But I urge principals to change your approach in leading these institutions, particularly with regard to resources that can come from donors and partnerships.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of partnerships and stakeholder relations.
Partnerships for programme diversification, innovation or infrastructure utilization are useful.
But it takes a principal with a vision and a supportive council to make it a reality for the college.” Minister Pandor said.
With a high turnover of youth who come with teenage pregnancy, victims of human and substance abuse, the Good Shepherd Community Learning Centre also provides counselling.
Minister Pandor concluded her speech by announcing R 250 000 worth funding commitment for the sewing and binding programmes, kindly made available by the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA).
“In addition, the FP&M SETA will provide accreditation support to the Good Shepherd Community Centre to ensure that they are able to implement quality clothing and beadwork programmes – as per the accreditation policy and procedures of the FP & M SETA Quality Assurance Division.” Minister added to a thunderous applause.