NATIONAL NEWS - If everything goes according to plan, students from all district municipalities will soon have access to post-school training institutions.
Presenting the budget vote for the Department of Higher Education and Training on Friday, Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande announced that the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training (NPPSET) has been completed and will soon be released to give practical planning effect to the policy goals and objectives of the post-school system.
This follows the adoption of the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (PSET) in 2016, which sets out strategies to expand on the current delivery of education and training in South Africa for the period up to 2030.
The paper sets out a broad policy for expanding post-school provision to improve access to education and training opportunities and strengthen the institutions of post-schooling, of Further Education and Training Colleges, universities, colleges and adult education centres to improve the quality of education. NPPSET aims to result in a more integrated, transformed, articulated and effective post-school system.
Nzimande welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's focus on a national spatial development strategy based on systematic planning around the 44 district municipalities and 8 metros of the country. "We aim to ensure that within the next 10 years there will be no district municipality without access to a post-school training institution.
This, in my view, would be a major development in the struggle to overcome the spatial legacies of under-development inherited from the apartheid and colonial system," Nzimande said.
According to him, the Ministerial Task Team on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) established by the department's former minister would provide critical policy advice. "Its output will also be a crucial input into the work of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution presided over by President Ramaphosa."
The minister noted that the department is already developing a Skills Master Plan in response to the known skills demands associated with the 4IR. This plan will be complemented by a national list of occupations that are in high demand as well as a list of critical skills.
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