While presenting his Budget Vote to Parliament, Higher Education Minister Nzimande said that they have officially cleared the backlog which was seen in TVET College certifications. This backlog dated back to 1992.
I am also pleased to announce that after a two-decade struggle, we have finally eliminated the TVET college certification backlog.
Nzimande continued to say that over a month ago, they had eliminated 95% of the certificate backlog and that they would have reached 100% but "some of students who requested certificates do not qualify in terms of our standards".
"In the new recent examination cycle, we have certified students within the required three-month turnaround time, and will henceforth maintain this level of service and timely production of certificates," the Minister said.
More than 90% of our TVET college students are funded through NSFAS. However, the NSFAS shortfall experienced at the beginning of this year has impacted the TVET sector.
It is unfortunate that we do not have additional funds to be able to rapidly expand the TVET college sector yet if we are talking about any sector that should be drastically expanded, it is the TVET college sector because it is very critical in providing the mid-level skills that we are short of as a country.
The total budget for the sector sits at R13 billion.
The Department has also approved 10 new/revised subject curricula which will be in effect at TVET colleges in 2022.
Nzimande has said that the TVET sector remains critical and that they will build an apprenticeship based TVET college system similar to the dual system in Germany. They will thus have the focus be on producing TVET graduates who are work ready.
"This project will see more of our youth absorbed into workplaces, while getting the requisite technical skills, in a meaningful partnership between the PSET system and industry," Nzimande continued.