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Higher Education hosts first Community Education and Training (CET) summit

Western Cape Community Education and Training College Council (WCCET) provincial chairperson Jeremiah Thuynsma talks with Eastern Cape acting Community Education and Training director, Ndiliwe Madikiza, WCCET intern Zulema Beda and Markerting co-ordinator Pamella Mjuleni. Picture Sisonke Mlamla

Western Cape Community Education and Training College Council (WCCET) provincial chairperson Jeremiah Thuynsma talks with Eastern Cape acting Community Education and Training director, Ndiliwe Madikiza, WCCET intern Zulema Beda and Markerting co-ordinator Pamella Mjuleni. Picture Sisonke Mlamla

Published Mar 9, 2022

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Cape Town - A Community Education and Training (CET) summit to assess progress, prioritise actions and activities that would strengthen and stabilise the college system got under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday.

The two-day summit under the theme “Mass Skills Programme Provision”, aimed at positioning the CET colleges to become key institutions for providing skills programmes in the country.

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The summit was filled with education stakeholders, CET college principals, Sector Education and Training Authorities (Seta) chief executives and boards, quality councils, among others.

Department of Higher Education and Training, director-general Dr Nkosinathi Sishi said CET colleges were an emerging sector in the Post-School Education and Training system.

Sishi said the foundation of the sector evolved from the erstwhile Adult Basic Education and Training which focused predominantly on basic literacy and numeracy for adults.

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“The transitioning of the sector gave birth to nine CET colleges, one per province with 1791 learning sites clustered under them,” Sishi said.

Western Cape Community Education and Training College Council provincial chairperson Jeremiah Thuynsma, said the council wanted to bring stakeholders together to see how they could help CETs to grow, and fill the gaps in assisting their students.

Thuynsma said the need for infrastructure was one of the challenges they had identified in the Western Cape.

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He said more than 80% of their community learning centres operated out of school premises, and as an after-school kind of activity.

“The reality for us is that, our target market is available throughout the day, and they would prefer to go into an institution that is not in a school, because they have left schools early as drop outs or they have never entered the formal school system.

“For them to come at their age to school has been met with stigma. Therefore infrastructure becomes an important thing for us," he said.

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Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande, said the summit aimed to take forward, consolidate and further dynamise the CET sector to achieve its mandate as contained in the 2013 White Paper for Post-School Education and Training.

“This summit also takes place following the hosting of our highly successful three regional skills summits, which served as a precursor to this ministerial summit,” Nzimande said.

He said CET colleges were established to target out-of-school youth and adults who required various forms of skilling, including upgrading of their education and basic qualifications, second chance learning, non-formal programmes and the provision of skills programmes to contribute to different forms of livelihoods.

“CET colleges mark an important shift in government strategy on adult education. It marks an expansion and transformation of the traditional adult education system to go beyond just improving one’s own basic education, but to provide a variety of skills that are much needed in our communities,” he said.

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Cape Argus

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