Today, 8 May 2015, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, MP, launched the Northern Cape leg of The Apply NowKhetha Career Guidance campaign in High Schools in the Upington area, Khara Hais Local Municipality, Northern Cape Province
The Deputy Minister was accompanied by the Department of Basic Education District Director, Mr George Berends, Mr Sydney Stander (Chief Of Staff in the MEC of Education’s office), Mr Thomas Basson (Speaker of Khara Hais Local Municipality), the Coordinator of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, Robbie Phillips and the Principal of NCR TVET College, Mr Percy Sago.
The Apply Now Campaign
Deputy Minister Manana interacted with more than 3 000 Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 learners at SC Kearns Secondary School, Saul Damon Secondary School and Paballelo Secondary School in Upington. The campaign is being rolled out throughout the country with specific focus on areas that are far-flung from the major cities to allow learners from those areas to have access to information like their urban peers.
He outlined the Apply NowKhetha Career Guidance Campaign which is aimed at encouraging learners to apply on time for admission to post-school institutions and thus avert possible stampedes and long queues that take place at the beginning of each academic year. The Career Guidance component of the campaign seeks to inform learners about career choices available within the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) sector.
The campaign was initiated by the Department of Higher Education and Training following the unfortunate incident that happened at the University of Johannesburg in 2012, where a mother of a prospective learner died in a stampede whilst accompanying her child to submit a late application.
The Apply Now Campaign runs from March to September each year across the country to assist learners to make informed choices. It also seeks to inform learners about things to look out for when choosing their institutions of higher learning to avert being conned by unregistered and bogus colleges who offer them unaccredited qualifications.
The 100 Occupations in High Demand
The Deputy Minister had a conversation with more than 3000 learners from Grade 09 to 12 in the township schools of Upington and further promoted the “100 Occupations in high demand” list that was released by the Minister in 2014. This will assist learners to make informed career choices to avoid a situation where they too join a cohort of unemployed and unemployable graduates. The phenomenon of unemployable graduates in the country continues to expose our skewed and misdirected curriculum which makes it fashionable for learners to prefer universities over colleges, yet choosing congested career choices which will result in them being unemployed.
The Deputy Minister encouraged learners to consider TVET Colleges as an alternative to university education because the skills needs of the country necessitate massive production of artisans and technicians from TVET colleges. He further informed learners that the month of August has been declared as the TVET Month and the first week of August every year is now the TVET Week where colleges are required to host learners from high schools during their Open Days. TVET Colleges are encouraged to intensify their outreach campaigns during the month of August to expose as many learners as possible to their programme offerings.
Deputy Minister Manana informed learners about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) which is aimed at assisting poor and deserving students to further their studies within the post-school sector. NSFAS has to date assisted more than 1.5 million beneficiaries who have since joined the middle class league. He further outlined that TVET College students who are financially needy and deserving are offered a bursary instead of a loan to pursue their studies as compared to their university counterparts who are offered loans.
The Deputy Minister informed learners that there are currently 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) which are responsible for learnerships and other training opportunities for learners who cannot pursue further education and training within the formal and structured sector. Various SETAs accompanied the Deputy Minister and engaged with learners in the three schools to showcase their youth and skills development interventions and programmes aimed at equipping young people with skills to confront the world.
Career Development Services
The Department of Higher Education and Training currently runs a Career Development Services Centre to assist learners with career aice. The Deputy Minister encouraged learners to use their cell phones to reach the Centre as follows:
SMS or “Please Call Me”: 072 204 5056
Telephone: 086 999 0123
National Career Aice Portal: http:ncap.careerhelp.org.za
Walk-in Center: 123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria
Source : South African Government