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Media Release

20 November, 2007

FET colleges central to delivery of priority skills - Minister Pandor

Further Education and Training Colleges (FET) colleges are central to the delivery of priority skills needed in South Africa, according to the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor.

Ms Pandor was addressing the fourth FET Colleges Achiever Awards Ceremony organised by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in Cape Town last night (Monday, 19 November 2007).

"This award ceremony is held at a time when the expectations and pressure for the expanded delivery of vocational education in South Africa, in Africa and worldwide has never been higher," she said.

She said that FET colleges were central to the delivery of priority skills needed to ensure access and participation in the country's growing economy. FET colleges are changing to meet these needs.

"Having merged 150 technical colleges into 50 FET colleges with multiple sites over the past five years, we need to ensure that they offer excellent programmes and training to their students."

The government has committed R1.9 billion over five years to recapitalise FET colleges across the country. The project in the Western Cape so far has included upgrading 40 campus sites, 96 classrooms and 23 student resource centres, and the construction of three computer laboratories.

South Africa has introduced new National Certificate (Vocational) (NC [V]) programmes that will replace the old Nated programmes. The Western Cape has introduced 11 new vocational programmes this year, specifically designed to meet the needs of the local economy, as part of this initiative.

Students following the programmes can progress to higher education, employment, or become entrepreneurs.

The Treasury has set aside R600 million over three years for the Department of Education FET Colleges Bursary Scheme to improve access to FET. FET colleges are administering the bursaries.

Over 12 500 students registered at NC (V) Level 2 have been awarded bursaries, Ms Pandor said. This is almost half of the students registered for NC (V) programmes at FET colleges in 2007. More than 1 500 out of 3 222 NC (V) students in the Western Cape have received bursaries.

Ms Pandor thanked all role players for ensuring the success of FET colleges, including lecturers, staff, donors and sponsors, both locally and internationally.

FET colleges "are ready to play a dynamic role in closing then skills gaps in South Africa, in offering young people real opportunities to learn new skills, and to create new jobs and establish their own enterprises".

The objectives of the FET Achiever of the Year Awards are to recognise and reward excellence, commitment dedication, hard work and achievement. They recognise best practice in the various categories of the awards.

The following FET college staff members received awards:

Lecturers of the Year:

Fundamental Studies: Rogan Pedro, West Coast College, Vredendal Campus

General Studies: Catherine Conradie, South Cape College, George Campus

Business Studies: Chaleen October, Boland College, Paarl Campus

Engineering Studies: Frans Jooste, Boland College, Worcester Campus

Support Staff of the Year:

General Assistance and Maintenance: Johan Uys, Factotum, South Cape College, George Campus

Administration: Tersia Pool: Learner Support Co-ordinator, Boland College, Caledon Campus

Managers of the Year:

Academic: Pat Lawrence: Head of Department, Electrical Division, Northlink College, Belhar Campus

Support Services: Esna Barnard, Campus Manager, West Coast College, Vredendal Campus

Social Responsibility Project of the Year: Northlink College

Innovative Project of the Year: College of Cape Town

Excellence in Leadership: Ebrahim Peters, Senior Manager, Engineering Studies, Northlink College, Bellville Campus

Lifetime Achievement: the late Jan Bester, Retired Senior Deputy Principal, College of Cape Town, City Campus





South Cape College

George Campus

Tel: 044 874 2360

Respect and humour characterises Johan's relationships with colleagues, educator staff and students. He is seen by everyone as the person with the most positive attitude and for whom no task or project is too much for him. Johan uses his own tools and equipment on a regular basis to do maintenance tasks at the campus. He initiated the adaptation of the George campus to make it accessible for wheelchairs as well as the installation of a high-tech security system that has since been replicated at other campuses. As the campus does not have an IT technician, Johan has taken it upon himself to repair cabling, computers and printers. His practical fire drill demonstrations to students during orientation week have become a real hit with much fun with foam and water. In answer to the training needs of his staff, Johan developed and implemented short training courses in plumbing and gardening.



Boland College

Caledon Campus

Tel: 028 212 3270

Tersia is in all respects a team player who gets on well with other staff members and enjoys their support and co-operation in solving a variety of problems, tackling challenges and doing everything possible in providing a supporting and nurturing environment for staff and students. She successfully manages to involve staff in student activities such potjiekos and Mr and Miss Boland College competitions. Tersia skilled herself in the software package that is used to compile the campus college time table and regularly assists the academic head in drawing up the timetable for lecturers at the Caledon Campus. In addition to all her other duties she also manages the campus bookshop and serves as secretary of the student support committee.



West Coast College

Vredendal Campus

Tel: 022 713 3167

Over the past year Rogan has taught N1-N3 and NCV Mathematics and Science. Rogan's ambition is to inculcate a love for mathematics and science in his students. Fully aware of the difficulties students have with abstract mathematical and scientific concepts, Rogan takes real life practical scenarios and makes apparatus to demonstrate difficult concepts such as how forces work, calculation of volumes, energey balances etc. He regularly downloads and implements new teaching methods from the SABC Learning channel and makes good use of the learning aids published by the Argus to improve the mathematical and scientific skills and knowledge of his students.



South Cape College

George Campus

Tel: 044 874 2360

With her scintillating personality, her zest for life and passion for work as haircare lecturer, Catherine Conradie inspires both students and staff. She is tremendously dedicated and recently organised the first ever Haircare Extravaganza Show at South Cape College which was a tremendous success. She personally contacted local salons and suppliers for sponsorships and prizes for the extravaganza. In November 2006 she arranged for twelve students to be interviewed by the Steiner shipping group and as a result nine of the students are currently working on luxury sea liners off the American coast. At the end of 2006 100% of her students were found competent aqccording to SETA requirements and the retention rate was 98%. During 2007 the number of students enrolled in the haircare programme has tripled.



Boland College

Paarl Campus

Tel: 021 872 3323

The high priority that Chaleen October places on education and her commitment to life long learning is evident when one notes her successful completion of various entrepreneurship, Outcome based education, pastel and payroll programmes. She has recently been certified as Pastel trainer by Pastel and as result she is currently teaching computerised financial systems, a subject that was until recently outside her field of training. In 2006 Chaleen took a job in industry during her vacation so that she could stay abreast with the latest developments and also to understand the needs of industry in respect of knowledge and skills they require from their employees. Chaleen's positive attitude motivates and inspres her students to do their best. She encourages them to do so by giving them prizes if they do well in tests and examinations. As a result her students achieved a 100% pass rate during the 2006 examinations with a 70% average.



Boland College

Worcester Campus

Tel: 023 342 5760

Frans Jooste's dedicated involvement in education spans almost 22 years and his achievements both inside and outside the classroom reflect his invaluable contributions to the FET College sector. Frans has established good relations with industry and companies regularly contact him to source quality employees. When Frans identifies a need in the education sector little can stop him in his quest to address. An example of his drive is the zeal and devotion with which he collaborated with the Merseta over a period of two years to obtain a certificate of accreditation for the workshops at the Worcester campus. Frans is a teacher par excellence and the results of his sudents reflect this - during the past three examinations his sudents achieved pass rates of 72%, 83% and 100%.



Northlink College

Bellville Campus

Tel: 021 951 2231

Ebrahim Peters leads all modes of academic delivery at Northlink college. Through wide reading, research and consultation he is a valuable resource that many tap into for support and guidance. Under Ebrahim's leadership part-time delivery has increased by 80% at all engineering campuses. He was also one of the first to establish decentralised trade testing at the Bellville Campus. Ebrahim identified a niche in Computer Numeric Control (CNC) and through his efforts the first industrial CNC training facility in the Western Cape was established at the Bellville campus. Ebrahim is a skillfull negotiator who leads many college initiatives. Recently he played a leading role in establishing partnerships with industry including the Western Cape Tooling initiative, South Birmingham College, South African Auto Repair & Salvage and SAAB (Sweden). In preparing for the implementation of the new NCV programmes, Ebrahim develope and excellent plan for the delivery of the new programmes, which resulted in many managers from colleges nationally seeking guidance from him. Ebrahin encourages local community forums to make use of the facilities of Northlink colleges and acts as a resource for two community base organisations namely, Helderberg youth academy and Vukani Bantu in Langa and is frequently called upon to provide career guidance and advice to the disadvantaged youth.



C/o Lynette Steenkamp

College of Cape Town

City Campus

Tel: 021 462 2053

The Late Jan Bester's career in the teaching profession started in 1969 and he retired as Senior Deputy Principal in 2004. However his love for teaching was so great that he returned to teach Maths literacy at College of Cape Town. Jan Bester was a mentor to many including Prof John Volmink, Chairperson of Umalusi and Mr Leaon Beech, CEO of Northlink college. In his quiet and unassuming manner he empowered them to move on and achieve their goals. Jan Bester played a leading role in curriculum and learning material development in the FET College sector over a period of 22 years. He served on the SAQA committee that was responsible for the development of the Maths Literacy unit standards and has also written a Maths literacy textbook. Jan also served as examiner and moderator for Nated subjects for many years. Over the years Jan developed a renowned reputation in the college sector and was highly respected locally, nationally and abroad. He single handedly managed the Canadian COTEC project and made sure that the numerous benefits achieved were shared by all the colleges in the Western Cape. Jan Bester's sudden demise at the age of 67 has left a great void in the FET College sector and he will be fondly remembered by the FET College community.





TEL: 027 213 5674

As Campus manager of the Vredendal Campus, Esna Barnard inspires her staff by always being the first to volunteer for a atsk and her open door policy. As a result of Esna's superb organisational and management skills a run down school hostel was transformed into a modern campus with well equipped classrooms and workshops. In achieving this edna had to overcome disgruntled residents, angry politicians and a sensation press. Esna regularly attends the local Chamber of Commerce meetings which assists her in placing her students with local industries. Under Esna's guidance the campus has introduced a transport and feeding scheme for students from the disadvantaged communities. Despite her onerous responsibilities as campus manager, Esna also lectures maths and maths literacy thus ensuring that her lecturing staff are not overloaded. Esna initiated the establishment of an open learning centre and internet café at the Vredendal access and the local communities can now access computer and internet facilities in the evenings and over weekends.





TEL: 021 952 2113

As Head of department: Electrical Pat Lawrence manages all heavy and light current programme delivery at three campuses. To ensure that Northlink is able to satisfy the needs of industry and students Pat initiated the implementation of new programmes such as Mechatronics covering Programme Logic Control, Process Control and Domestic automation systems. By regularly visiting campuses Pat is able to provide guidance and support to lecturers thereby ensuring that quality delivery takes place. In addition to his normal duties Pat also acts as campus liaison officer for PLATO in order to help students improve their language and mathematical skills. As a result of Pat's persistence and single mindedness in achieving his goal Northlink College received accreditation from the ESETA to offer Level 1 & 2 Electrical training. Pat has also successfully applied to the MERSETA training and trade test accreditation. Pat was instrumental in organising the appearance of a student on Prime Time Television on SABC 1 thereby gaining valuable exposure for Northlink and the FET college sector.

For enquiries, contact Paddy Attwell pattwell@pgwc.gov.za, or Gert Witbooi: 082 550 3938 or gwitbooi.gov.za.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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