News clipping – The Mercury – 3 November 2010

Nzimande calls for access and equity for all in education

Artificial bottlenecks in the skills development pipeline need to be removed and equity and access for all achieved, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said yesterday.

Briefing the media on his delivery and performance agreements with President Jacob Zuma, Nzimande said skills development should be prioritized to achieve high levels of growth and development.
“Working with my colleagues in the government, ministers of science and technology, public enterprises, economic development, trade and industry and others, we are committed to improving the skills level of our citizens.”

Five key outputs had been identified:

  • Establishing a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning, which included providing information on demand and supply for skill, as well as career guidance.
  • Increasing access to programmes leading to intermediate and high-level learning, including training more people, as millions did not have enough schooling to be able to access mid- and high-level skills.
  • Increasing access to occupationally directed programmes, thereby expanding availability of intermediate-level skills, with a special focus on artisan and other mid-level skills.
  • Increasing access to high-level occupationally directed programmes such as engineers, health professionals, natural and physical sciences, as well as increasing graduate output of teachers.
  • Research, development and innovation for a growing economy, with a particular focus on post-graduate degrees, deepening industry and university partnerships, as well as increasing investment in research and innovation, especially in science, engineering and technology.

Nzimande said many pupils were ill-prepared to undertake further learning when they left school and could not access post-school education and training.

The proposed new growth path suggested a radical review of the training system to address shortfalls. - Sapa