Issue No. 45
Further Education and Training Bill
11 September 1998
The Further Education and Training Bill is an integral and necessary part of the ANC led Government’s programme of transforming the education system. The Bill will not only redress past imbalances, but will also address the challenges that arise from new problems that plague the education system. The Minister of Education is responsible for leading the transformation process in education – with this Bill he displays his ability to tackle this task and adds to an already vast pool of legislation that make up the parts of this vision. In response to 350 years of colonial, racist and gutter education the ANC bases its education policies on the principles of democracy, equality and cooperation.
Further Educating the Nation
The Further Education and Training Bill will:
- regulate further education and training
- provide for founding, governing and funding public further education and training institutions
- register private further education and training centres
- provide for quality assurance and quality promotion in the field
- In line with the Constitution, the ANC believes that everyone has the right to further education and that it should be made available and accessible by the State. This Bill forms an integral part of the overall programme of the ANC to supply accessible, equal and quality education to all our people. It provides for learning courses that will lead to qualifications equal to standards eight to matric, consistent with the National Qualifications Framework.
- To promote accessibility, further education and training will be provided in existing centres, which provides for it on a full-time, part-time or distance basis, including secondary schools. Unlike the previous Government which planned and plotted to keep black South Africans out of schools and ignorant, the ANC led Government ensures that everyone has the opportunity to learn more, know more and earn more. The ANC philosophy of promoting a culture of life-long learning is evident in its education policies. This Bill re-affirms that philosophy.
- Provincial MECs for Education will be responsible for establishing further education and training centres, as well as rationalising existing ones. The Bill follows on the Employment of Educators Bill that decentralises more powers to MECs to handle provincial education budgets directly.
- The Bill provides for conventional governance structures which include a council and an educational board. The ANC believes that any organisation, institution or firm can only be managed effectively when all stakeholders are involved in its management. Everyone needs to be represented in the governance of social institutions to avoid and minimise tensions and conflicts.
- Private further education and training institutions may be established under this Bill. They will have to register with a national registrar. The capacity of the public sector to cater for the education needs of everyone is under severe and constant pressures. Partnerships with the private sector are required and encouraged. Government welcomes the idea of private companies stepping in to assist with the huge task of education, and encourages them to register with the national registrar.
National Board for Further Education and Training
The Board, which is recognised by the Bill, will be established under the National Education Policy Act to advise the Minister on quality assurance and promotion.
How the Bill tackles our past
The Bill will:
- establish a single, coordinated further education and training system to promote cooperative governance and provides for programme-based courses
- transform and restructure programmes and institutions to address more effectively the human resource, economic and development needs of the country
- redress past discrimination, ensure representivity and equal access
- provide ample opportunities for learning and the development of skills in line with international standards
- promote the values which underline democracy based on human dignity, equality and freedom
- respect and encourage democracy, academic freedom and freedom of speech and expression
- promote the full realisation of everyone’s potential, tolerance of ideas and appreciation of diversity, and pursue excellence
- respond to the needs of the country and the communities the further education and training centres serve
- promote the autonomy of the further education and training centres, within the framework of accountability and the need for high levels of skills and knowledge
The ANC Commitment
- The ANC insists that the emphasis of further education and training must be shifted to equip people with the skills to do a job and the ability to adapt to lifelong learning. We remain committed to creating a culture of life-long learning. We must change people’s perception that having a matric or university degree means that they must stop learning.
- Unlike the NP and the DP, the ANC believes that everyone in South Africa has a contribution to make. We all have a social responsibility to work towards a competitive economy that participates in the global economy from a position of strength. Workers have a responsibility to better their education and training, become higher earners and become more competitive not only nationally but in the international job market.
- Instead of the reckless rhetoric of the opposition we need people from all sectors to roll up their sleeves, further their qualifications and get on with the hard work that will bring economic growth, employment and general upliftment to our people.
- The ANC is the only party with the political will, the revolutionary vision and the ability to effectively turn the tide of ignorance, low skills levels and unemployment around. It is the ANC that started transformation in education, equality in the workplace and the democratisation of society.
- This Bill is yet another brick in the ANC Government’s reconstruction and rebuilding campaign that will transform South African society. It is a re-affirmation of the Government’s commitment to the eradication of unfair discrimination in education and employment.
- The ANC led Government, step by step, is making South Africa a better place for everyone.