R1,9bn to jack up weak FET colleges

THE Department of Higher Education and Training will start an audit at all Further Education and Training Colleges from January next year.

THE Department of Higher Education and Training will start an audit at all Further Education and Training Colleges from January next year.

So said Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande when he addressed the 16th national congress of the South African Students Congress at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Edgewood Campus in Pinetown.

"Measures must be put in place to improve our education system," Nzimande said.

"This includes developing and expanding academic support as well as enhancing the quality of teaching at colleges and universities."

He said the move was aimed at establishing the strengths and weaknesses of each FET college and turning them into prime centres for vocational skills.

"We are already aware of some of the difficulties students experience at FET colleges, including the absence of financial aid offices at the institutions. This creates problems during registration," he said.

Nzimande said only limited information was available about the programmes offered at these colleges.

He said his department had invested R1,9billion to improve the system and quality of programmes offered at FET colleges.

"As we take the skills development sector on board, we intend to consolidate the FET system through strengthening its partnership with the Setas and other training providers," he said.

Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe urged the youth to learn and study.

"This will free us from manual labour, poverty, homelessness and other forms of transgressions."

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