New college for Clermont
Residents of Clermont in KwaZulu-Natal will no longer have to travel to bigger cities such as Durban for tertiary education and skills training.
MEC for education Ina Cronje yesterday opened a R20million state-of-the-art further education and training college, which will function as part of ElangeniCollege.
Cronje said her department had brought education closer to needy communities through the new campus in an effort to fight against skills shortages.
"It will create opportunities for all the-out-of-school youths as well as adults. A range of bursaries will be offered by this institution to increase access to education and skills development to redress the imbalances of the past.
"Colleges have the potential to service a much wider community of students and to offer a bigger range, type and level of programmes to alleviate unemployment and poverty," Cronje said.
Sihle Mbili, who heads Elangeni College's eight campuses around the province, said the first batch of students would be admitted in June.
He said the college would stop Clermont youths from going to the city for tertiary education.
"They will get education [and] skills at their doorstep. We will not only focus on those who have matric, but we will encourage every willing young person to come and get skills," he said.
Mbili said the college would also help older citizens to perfect their skills and start their own businesses. It would also provide early childhood education.
The campus will offer courses ranging from carpentry, plumbing and electrical engineering to hairdressing and catering.