The impact of National Certificate Vocational on the continued learning : patterns and destination of the FET colleges engineering graduates in the North West Province
Author(s)Mashongoane, Thabo Shadrack
Contributor(s)Mathipa, Elias Rajabalala
Engineering -- Study and teaching (Continuing education) -- South Africa -- North-West -- Evaluation
Engineering technicians -- Education (Continuing education) -- South Africa -- North-West -- Evaluation
Vocational education -- South Africa -- North-West – Evaluation
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AbstractSince the advent of democracy in 1994 South Africa has been faced with the shortage of skilled people and this is caused, amongst other things, by the inadequacy of the outdated National Education Programmes for Technical Colleges (NATED) and later referred to as the N-programmes. To address the problem, the former Department of Education (DoE) developed new programmes called the National Certificate Vocational NC (V) for the students of the Further Education and Training colleges (FETs), which were renamed the Technical Vocational Educational and Training Colleges (TVET). The TVET programmes were implemented with the collaboration of industry and other stakeholders who were involved when the NC (V) programmes were developed to ensure their buy-in. Despite all these efforts, Magnus et al. (2013) are of the view that the vocationally-oriented NC (V) programmes offered at colleges are not useful, work-focused and flexible, as a result some leading employers reject the products of the programmes. Returning to the global debate, Lewis (2009) contends that failure of vocational programmes anywhere ought not to be taken as an indictment of vocationalism.
Based on the above scenario, this study surveyed and traced TVET graduates who graduated from 2009 to 2012, to determine the impact of the NC (V) programme on those who decided to either further their studies or be employed. Although the programmes offered by the FET’s are rolled out in various study fields throughout the country, the research was limited to graduates who were enrolled in the following three programmes in the North West Province: building construction, electrical, and engineering related studies. The three mega FET Colleges, composed of more than ten campuses as listed in point 1.2.1, are spread throughout the province, which is regarded to be predominantly rural even though it boasts the biggest hub of mines, especially platinum mines. There is also high concentration of tourism industry as well as agricultural businesses that require a skilled labour force to drive economic activities. An extensive literature review was conducted to appropriately inform the study and to provide a firm basis for the arguments. The NC (V) programmes by their nature and design are closely related to the work of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) with respect to the apprenticeships and the learnerships. Factors relating to the research scope, context and the geographical environment were analysed to ensure proper delineation and delimitation of the study since it covered only the North West Province of South Africa. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies for the collection of data. An interview schedule was used for the collection of the qualitative data from the Colleges, Department of Higher Education and Training, the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), the Universities of Technologies (UoTs), and the various employer organizations. The questionnaire was applied to collect quantitative data from the graduates because of their large numbers. The use of both methods, the qualitative and quantitative, enhanced the quality of the verification and the validation of the data.
The correlational relationship and connection between the NC (V) graduates and their post college destinations was determined. This refers to the correlation between NC (V) graduates and the opportunities seized after their college studies. Charles (1998:11) attests that “although in most cases data for correlation studies are obtained through measurement, at times they come from judgments made by researchers, teachers, or other qualified persons”. In line with this, the researcher presented the findings from the qualitative method in a manner that outlines the opinions and the post college status of the graduates. The findings of the qualitative method provided background knowledge into the NC (V) programmes, the graduates and their destinations, thereby validating the quantitative findings. A work integrated learning framework model is proposed for the enhancement of the FET College curriculum, for the improvement of quality work-placement and for the promotion of partnership amongst the beneficiaries; graduates, employers, colleges and the intermediaries.
Educational Leadership and Management
D. Ed. (Education Management)
Mashongoane, Thabo Shadrack (2015) The impact of National Certificate Vocational on the continued learning : patterns and destination of the FET colleges engineering graduates in the North West Province, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/19837>