Pandor hints at splitting up of education ministry

POSSIBILITY: Naledi Pandor. © Sowetan.
POSSIBILITY: Naledi Pandor. © Sowetan.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Education minister Naledi Pandor has hinted that a new ministry of higher education, especially for tertiary institutions, would be established by the new ANC government after the elections.

Addressing the media in Durban on Friday, Pandor said there are discussions about the proposed new ministry.

There have been calls from the education fraternity to separate the institutions of higher learning from the school education system prompted in part by recent strikes at universities, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Pandor was at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville campus, where she met senior management to discuss achievements in transforming higher education and the impact it has had on universities.

"There are discussions around the issue of a separate ministry of higher education, and one has to wait until after the elections to see what is going to happen, but there's a huge possibility," said Pandor.

Pandor hailed the merger of the universities around the country, but singled out KwaZulu-Natal as an inspiration to the whole country. She said the mergers in the province have gone smoothly, unlike at the University of North West.

"The main aim of the merger process - mandated in 2002 - was to break up the division between black and white institutions, to improve quality through economies of scale, to rationalise programmes and to improve staff-student ratios. Despite the merger processes having been concluded, problems still persist at a number of institutions. Some problems arise from the challenge of merging institutional cultures and histories," she said.

She added that restructuring and transforming technikons into universities of technology has had its share of problems.