The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training will engage the Departments of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and Telecommunications and Postal Services in order the resolve the long-standing backlog in the issuing of certificates to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students.
Following a briefing by the DHET during a meeting that took place on Wednesday, the Committee resolved to engage the two departments in order to ensure that the National Certificate (Vocational) [NC(V)] backlog, which started in 2007 and stood at 103 195 as at April 30, was addressed urgently.Tvet
The State Information Technology Agency (SITA), an agency that is responsible for issuing the NC(V) certificates and falls under the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, will also be invited to brief the Committee.
This is after a presentation by the DHET revealed that part of the delays emanated from lack of human resource capacity and technical expertise at the SITA.
Committee Chairperson Mrs Yvonne Phosa said: “As a country, we are doing a disservice to the students if we cannot issue certificates timeously. This might be contributing to the existing problem of youth unemployment, which stands at 70%, and we have said before that education is at the centre of addressing this.”
She added: “We are sitting with a problem that dates back to 2007 and this is a very long period. This matter has to be prioritised. The expectation is that certificates should be issued within three months and we insist on this. We need to respond timeously to this because we are sitting on a ticking time bomb.”
The DHET’s Director-General Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde stated that due to the limitations with SITA, the process of procuring an aanced IT system was underway. With MPs insisting that there had to be timelines to the process, Mr Qonde said the procurement would be finalised in the next two to three months. Since the backlog began, the department has been able to issue 496 544 certificates.
The Committee was also briefed by Umalusi on the quality assurance of the 2014 examination results of, among others, the NC(V), the Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) and the General Education and Training Certificates (GETC).
Source : South African Government