Training scheme review drags on
Light at end of tunnel for National Certificate Vocational qualification
The review of the National Certificate Vocational (NCV), which could result in the qualification being overhauled, is due to be completed by the end of 2017 after a process starting in 2010.
The NCV offers programmes of study in vocational fields.
The programmes are aimed at tackling the economy’s skills demand, but many are duplicating each other. It has also been criticised for not adequately preparing students to enter occupations.
The national certificate is offered at levels 2, 3 and 4 of the National Qualifications Framework and is designed to provide theory and practical experience in specific industry fields.
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said the review had considered the selection of students, programme delivery (theory and practical) — including the manner in which the curricula were delivered — quality of practitioners and resources.
Costing and funding flows, student support and career guidance were also considered.
The review had sought to understand the type of student accessing the NCV qualification to ascertain if this was consistent with the original intention of the qualification.
"As part of this evaluative process, there will be a need to understand the implications of this selection process and whether there has been an appropriate matching of learners to programmes and fields of learning with respect to their ability to cope with the academic demands of the programme, the extent to which the learner meets other requirements pertaining to the occupation, and whether the learner is motivated," Nzimande said.
He was responding to a question in Parliament posed by the DA.
Furthermore, said Nzimande, the review would explore the opportunities students were able to exploit upon completion of the programme.
The review team would consider which factors enabled students or hindered them from accessing particular opportunities, he said.
The review process was initiated in 2010 at the Further Education and Training Roundtable Summit. The ministerial task team set up to conduct the review first submitted its report in March 2013. It contained no fewer than 25 recommendations, as well as a set of alternative scenarios.
This required the department to interrogate the report and gain further inputs, he said.
Final recommendations were made to Nzimande, after which he requested Umalusi in 2014 to advise on the proposed policy changes.
Umalusi, as the quality council overseeing the NCV qualification, completed the review of the qualification and published the policy for public comment in May 2017.
Following the incorporation of the public comments, Umalusi reviewed the draft qualifications and submitted it to the department for consideration on August 18 2017. It was expected that the review would be concluded before the end of 2017, Nzimande said.