The Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Blade Nzimande will be the keynote speaker at the launch of the Centre for Integrated Post-School Education and Training (CIPSET) on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 at NMMU’s Missionvale Campus.
The Centre has been established in response to the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) call for the expansion of the FET sector in South Africa to absorb more than three million young people who are not employed, educated or trained and to serve as an alternative to pursuing higher education studies.
The launch of the Centre is timely, in light of the recently released Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training that is currently out for public comment.
The activities of the Centre will primarily revolve around the following focus areas:
- Initial and continuing professional development for FET staff: The Centre will aim to facilitate the capacity development of FET lecturers, support staff and principals to enhance their knowledge and skills and thereby support the Colleges in their quest to fulfill their expanded mandate of providing high-quality vocational education and training.
- Curriculum alignment, access and articulation: The Centre will focus on providing research-informed admission routes and learning pathways for learners who have obtained an FET qualification and fulfil NMMU admissions criteria to pursue cognate career-oriented university qualifications.
- Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping: The Centre will build on research work to map post-school sites of learning (both public and private educational institutions) and key employers in relation to the youth not in employment, education and training (NEETs) with the aim of informing decision-making and funding allocations regionally and nationally to improve the quality and accessibility of post-school education and training.
- Research and policy advocacy: The Centre will conduct stakeholder-informed research to contribute to policy development and implementation in relation to creating an integrated post-school education and training landscape regionally and nationally. The research agenda of the Centre will encompass several research focus areas, with a particular focus on skills development, job creation and poverty alleviation within the context of the predominantly rural nature of the Eastern Cape.
Senior Director: Strategic Planning Prof Heather Nel says the work of the Centre is multi-disciplinary in nature and seeks to facilitate and enable the post-school initiatives of various units/departments at NMMU.
The Centre is currently actively involved in national government priority areas such as Engineering, ICT and Finance/Accounting but will also seek to expand its programmes to include a focus on Nursing, Tourism, Hospitality Studies, Agriculture and Forestry, Early Childhood Development, and the Arts.