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Media Release

22 January, 2007

FET colleges off to a good start in 2007

Statement by Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape

Further education and training (FET) will begin in earnest on 44 campuses of the six FET colleges in the Western Cape today (Monday, 22 January 2007).

Early reports indicate that enrolments for 2007 are going well and several campuses have turned away students because they are full. If this trend continues for courses that start later this year, then FET colleges may well enrol more students than in 2006.

FET college staff reported for duty on Tuesday, 9 January 2007. Some courses started on Monday, 15 January. Most courses will start today (Monday, 22 January).

FET colleges, previously called technical colleges, offer further education and training in a wide range of vocational subjects. FET colleges now complement FET in Grades 10 to 12 in schools.

Grade 9 learners can now choose to complete FET in schools, in Grades 10 to 12, or in FET colleges. Students can complete FET Certificates at FET colleges that are equivalent to matric and provide access to higher education.

About 60 000 students registered for courses at FET colleges in the Western Cape last year. College programmes range from short courses over several weeks and months to programmes over a number of years.

The Western Cape’s six FET colleges are well prepared for the 2007 academic year. They are introducing 11 new Vocational Certificate Programmes this year on Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the National Qualifications Framework.

These are three-year qualifications with formal exit opportunities after each year. In other words, a certificate will be issued for each successfully completed year.

Areas covered by the new programmes include Administration, Finance, Information Technology, Marketing, Management, Building and Civil Construction, Engineering and related design, Electrical Infrastructure Construction, Primary Agriculture, Hospitality and Tourism.

The new vocational courses are specifically designed to meet the needs of the Western Cape economy and to equip students for employment opportunities. Examples include:

  • Human resource management
  • Personal assistants
  • Legal secretaries
  • Sales managers
  • Product development
  • Market research
  • Investment broking
  • Financial services
  • Public relations
  • Quantity surveying
  • Sanitation engineering
  • Building and construction
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Tool making
  • Fitting and machining
  • Instrumentation
  • Digital electronics
  • Process control
  • Computer systems engineering
  • Contact centre operations
  • Farm management
  • Viticulture
  • Hotel management
  • Chefs
  • Travel consultant
  • Adventure guiding
  • Safari operating, among many others.

In recent years, the national and provincial education departments have remodeled the FET college sector to form a key component of the national education system, to ensure a well-balanced selection of education options.

This has included a major national recapitalisation programme to ensure that FET colleges have the necessary resources.

The provincial government provided R25-million for student loans last year to improve access to FET colleges for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, as part of the iKapa Elihlumayo strategy.

More than 8 000 students have already taken advantage of the interest-free loan scheme in the Western Cape so far. Funds are still available for loans this year, as well as various bursary schemes.

The national Department of Education has provided an additional R9-million to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for an FET Financial Aid Scheme, which is now also available for 2007. FET colleges are managing the financial aid schemes.

The 44 FET college campuses in the Western Cape are scattered across the province, from Vredendal on the West Coast to the Cape Town metropolitan area, Beaufort West in the Karoo and Plettenberg Bay in the Southern Cape.

FET colleges form a key component of the Human Capital Development Strategy of the Western Cape (HCDS), currently being implemented by the WCED.

In terms of the HCDS, the WCED plans to increase the number of students registered at FET colleges from 60 000 currently to 180 000 by 2014.

For further details on the WCED’s FET colleges, contact:

Jannie Isaacs, CEO
College of Cape Town
Tel: 021-404-6700
Fax: 021-404-6701
Email: Jisaacs@cct.edu.za
Web: www.cct.edu.za

Cassie Kruger, CEO
False Bay College
Tel: 021-712-1080
Fax: 021-712-1092
Email: cassie.kruger@falsebay.org.za
Web: www.falsebaycollege.co.za

Leon Beech, CEO
Northlink FET College
Tel: 021-930-0957
Fax: 021-930-6882
Email: Lbeech@ northlink.co.za
Web: www.northlink.co.za

Chops Fourie, CEO
Boland FET College
Tel: 021-886-7111/2
Fax: 021-886-8182
Email: chopsf@bolandcollege.com
Web: www.bolandcollege.com

William Holtshousen, Rector
South Cape FET College
Tel: 044-884-0359
Fax: 044-884-0361
Email: rector@sccol.co.za
Web: www.sccol.co.za

Ms Osma Jooste-Mokghethi, CEO
West Coast College
Tel: 022-482-1143
Fax: 022-487-3983
Email: osma.jooste@westcoastcollege.co.za
Web: www.westcoastcollege.co.za

For the fourth year in a row, the Western Cape has achieved a matric pass rate of more than 80%. The pass in the Senior Certificate examinations for the province in 2004 is 85%.

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

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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