Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande says as government continues to spend a large share of its national budget on education, the challenge is to maximise the impact of this progressive investment.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training (NPPSET) in Durban on Thursday, 7 September
He said the NPPSET showcases the government’s continuous effort towards achieving an improved, transformed, expanded, responsive and articulated post-school education and training.
“Our department of higher education and training has the single largest number of entities of all the national government departments, with over 110,” Nzimande said.
South Africa’s PSET sector is one of the biggest in Africa with highly developed institutions that feature in the global arena of international education, training, research, technology development and innovation.
“We also have the single largest research infrastructure and systems on the African continent. Our National Plan for Post-School Education and Training is a roadmap for implementing the vision of the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training.
“It is framed within the broader goals and priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), which foregrounds the national efforts to address the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality, and poverty. It is an overarching instrument and a blueprint for guiding planning in our PSET sector.
“It aligns and integrates the work that is already underway and provides a policy framework for major transformative changes government wants to bring about across the PSET system and its nexus with society and the economy,” the minister said.
Nzimande explained that the National Plan for Post School Education and Training has six goals which are the drivers for the system.
“We are bringing together institutions and traditions that have different histories and investments and propose ways of making them work together towards common goals.
“We are consolidating and building on those aspects of the system that are working well whilst also streamlining a wide range of policies, plans, and strategies currently in existence that impact on the system without reducing its diversity,” Nzimande said.
Nzimande said his department has developed an articulation Policy for the Post-School Education and Training System of South Africa in 2017.
“The policy was established to create an enabling environment to ensure that articulation occurs within and between NQF sub-frameworks, institutions work together to develop learning and work pathways and support to students as they follow their individual learning and work pathways,” the minister said.
Nzimande added that his department conducted a comprehensive evaluation study on the implementation of the National Qualification Framework Act on how articulation was implemented by both TVET colleges and universities.
“The baseline study was also conducted to determine how articulation was practised within and between higher education institutions. The study has identified a number of challenges in how articulation works across the entire PSET system.
“The major challenge still remains to optimise articulation pathways between universities, TVET colleges and CET colleges and without cul-de-sacs in the system. We must also fund and properly resource articulation,” Nzimande said.
The NPPSET sets out a roadmap for implementing the vision of the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training.
Having already been approved by the minister, the NPPSET is being implemented by the department and may be viewed in conjunction with its enablers and or by-products which are the development of the Master Skills Plan, Student Funding Model, inclusive of the ‘missing middle’ and the implementation of the Labour Market Intelligence programme.
This launch provides an opportunity for the department to bring on board all stakeholders that are key in the broader implementation of the plan thereby ensuring effective implementation geared towards the realisation of the envisaged goals of the National Development Plan and other relevant policies to 2030 and beyond.
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