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Address at the certification ceremony for adult learners in SETA-skills-based ABET programmes, 16 September 2005, Minister Naledi Pandor speeches


Address by the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor, MP, at the certification ceremony for adult learners in SETA-skills-based ABET programmes, Cape Town

16 September 2005

Comrade Membathisi Mdladlana
MEC Cameron Dugmore
CEOs and managers of SETAs
Service providers
Adult education practitioners and students

It is a pleasure to be with you this evening.

It is a pleasure to celebrate the achievement of the 7,800 students who participated in this ABET programme.

For many years, the Department has come under fire for providing ABET programmes that are primarily academic in nature.

In 2001, the implementation of the Ikhwelo Poverty Alleviation project began a shift towards the introduction of skills programmes into ABET.

However, the real change took place with the signing of memoranda of understanding with four SETAs, Primary Agriculture SETA (PAETA), Energy SETA (ESETA), Construction SETA (CETA) and the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport SETA (THETA).

The task given to these SETAS was to provide skills programmes to ABET students at 60 selected learning sites in the nodal areas. The nodal areas were deliberately chosen so that those living in the poorest communities of South Africa could acquire employable or entrepreneurial skills.

The reports that I have received indicate that this project has been successful.

For example, In KwaZulu-Natal, an ABET level 4 Learner, Ms. Silindile Mfeka has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded her by this project and has registered a close corporation with members of the programme.

While she may not yet be a qualified electrician, she is able to perform basic electrical installations and maintenance and is able to charge a small fee for her services.

In Alexandra, Ms. Jane Sithole has also registered a close corporation, with a team, and she is doing electrical work in the Alexandra area.

The project has enhanced their self-esteem; both are now viewed as assets to their communities.

The positive potential in both of these instances is that when schools need any maintenance work done, there is scope for Jane and Silindile to tender for such work.

It is not only learners who have benefited from these projects, but also communities as well.

At the commencement of this project, an agreement was struck with the 60 schools that host the public adult learning centres.

Under this agreement, the students were required to practice their newly acquired skills, by painting certain parts of schools, repairing windows, floors, doors, ceilings and cupboards, and also doing electrical work, under the supervision of a licensed wireperson.

The students on the projects, being members of the community and also parents of learners at the schools, have not only taken personal pride in their work, but they have also vowed to take responsibility for ensuring that their schools are safe.

In other schools, the project has contributed to other initiatives, such as the school-feeding scheme.

The gardens that were developed for the Agriculture projects have largely been developed as an extension of the food gardens, which were already in existence at the schools selected for the project.

In these instances, the SETA programme has enhanced their capacity. It has provided students with SAQA approved programmes that are credit bearing; and it allows for ambitious students to pursue a full learnership in the future.

This evening we have gathered here to mark your achievements as a whole.

The students present here this evening, and the students that they represent back home, have made this project a success.

In fact, your dedication to this project has put the Department under pressure to provide further and better training programmes.

It has renewed the idea of what ABET should offer students.

It has created job opportunities for the 7,800 learners.

And it has enhanced the prospects of some educators, who will now be able to offer training in such programmes on future skills-based ABET programmes.

The serious challenge, in regard to trainers, is that we may have trained educators who will be lost to other institutions, where they would be assured of more stable jobs with better incomes.

While this is a disadvantage to such projects and to ABET as a whole, the advantage is that we are producing skills that can be transferred from ABET to other areas where this contributes to the development of the economy of the country.

We are hoping that we will soon see some stability in the area of educator retention, with the pending approval of the conditions of service for ABET educators.

I wish to congratulate all students who have participated in the project.

I trust that this function this evening does not mean that all your learning has come to an end!

I hope that this function is an encouragement to you, to look for opportunities to further your studies, especially for those of you who would like to embark on the full qualification linked to the course you have completed.

While we may have great aspirations for all of you, some of you may feel that you have already achieved your goals, and would rather look for better jobs.

To you I’d like to convey my best wishes and may what you have done be of benefit to both you and the generations that follow you.

I’d also like to congratulate the SETAs that participated in this project and that worked so closely with our officials to make this project a success.

I’d also like to commend all the officials who have made this project and this event this evening a success. The long trips and numerous nights out on the road have been worthwhile.

As part of the exhibition outside this hall, there are posters depicting students on the project and the work that they have done. Please take a walk around and appreciate their work.

In closing, I’d like to read a poem, composed by students on this project, in the Pinetown district of Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu, also known as INK.

Wamuhle wemfundo
Hawu! Umuhle ngoba awukethi
Omncani nomdala!
Umuhle ngamakhono onawo
Hawu umuhle we ABET
Ukwazi ukuveza amakhono ayecashile, acashile
Hawu umuhle we ABET
Awukethi bala lomuntu
Hawu umuhle we ABET
Sipelile isikhathi sokubuza ibhasi ibhaliwe
Siyaziqhenya ngawe ABET
Ngoba uyisiphephelo sawonkewonke.

Compiled by Mafakazela Centre Learners
Inanda-Ntuzuma-Kwamashu project (INK)

Thank you and enjoy the evening.

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 6/30/2008
Number of Views: 2289

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