2015

Portfolio Committee Oversight Visit: Meaningful and Successful

 

False Bay TVET College (FBC) had the unprecedented privilege of hosting Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee (PC) for Higher Education and Training for an oversight visit at its Khayelitsha Campus on 23 July 2015.


In attendance were members of the False Bay College Council and its Chairperson Ms Lonja, as well as senior managers of FBC together with its Principal, Mr Kruger.

Senior officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and officials from the Office of the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) all convened for the occasion.

The purpose of the oversight visit was to review governance and administration issues and to engage all stakeholders. The visit was also integral to the in-year monitoring of post-school education and training institutions across the country, which this year focused on institutions across the Western Cape.

The Hon. Ms Y Phosa, MP, Chairperson of the PC on Higher Education and Training, welcomed and opened the discussions contextualising and setting the tone for the engagement.

Said Phosa: ““The White Paper for Post-School Education and Training states that the main purpose of colleges is to train young school leavers, providing them with the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for employment in the labour market.

The college sector is central to the provision of post-school education and training, primarily for training in mid-level skills required to develop the South African economy.”

Phosa explained: “Government’s priority is to strengthen and expand the public TVET colleges so that they become institutions of choice for a large portion of school leavers and other people who require skills. The NDP sets a target of 30 000 artisans produced annually by 2030 and colleges have a crucial role to assist the country in achieving this target.

The most important indicator for the success of a college is the quality of the education offered and consequently the success of its students. For this to happen, colleges need a well-educated, capable and professional teaching staff.

Furthermore, leadership at council and management level is also vital for the success of the college.”

Presentations were made by the college principal, Mr Cassie Kruger, the SRC President and trade union representatives.

 

The topics included:

The admission policy of the College; the Transformation Plan; student and staff profiles; budgets; governance and management structures; faculties and programmes offered; expansion of infrastructure; student academic performance, partnerships with industries and SETAs for third stream funding as part of improved lecturer access to workplace exposure and student work placement; student enrolment for 2015 and targeted enrolment for the next five years.

The SRC raised challenges faced by students who live further than a 10km radius from the college and who do not qualify for DHET NSFAS transport allowances.

Robust discussions and engagement followed as questions and issues were raised by the honourable members of the PC Committee to the DHET, NSF, AGSA and College Management.

The Chairperson congratulated Mr Kruger on his presentation and his understanding of the National Development Plan (NDP). She praised the SRC for their leadership, encouraging them to continue doing the right thing, to stay focused and serve the moment and ultimately cultivate a strong legacy.

The Chairperson indicated that the committee were very satisfied with the performance of the College and found the engagement to be an exciting and meaningful one. “This institution knows what it is doing.” Said Phosa. By closing the identified gaps, this will take the institution to greater excellence and the Committee will support the College to achieve greater heights.

After the meeting was adjourned, the Portfolio Committee enjoyed a campus tour of the Khayelitsha facilities, including the motors and electrical workshop and the Open Learning Centre - all the while engaging with the students.

Once the report has been adopted by the Portfolio Committee, it will be published in the Parliamentary papers (ATC) and tabled for debate in the House. The recommendations of the report will be sent to the Minister for consideration and response.

Mr Kruger said, “We welcome visits of this nature as the critique it provides allows us to continually review and improve where we can. As a SABS ISO 2008 accredited institution, we are committed to ISO principals of quality and continuous improvement.

The positive feedback we received is also an affirmation of the Portfolio Committee’s appreciation of the college performance in pursuing the TVET College Mandate.”

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