Media briefing on the Budget Vote of the Department of Higher Education and Training
24 Apr 2012This afternoon I will be presenting the 4th Budget Vote for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) since it came into existence in 2009. It is a very significant year in the life of this Department, but more importantly, within the context of the country in the 18th year of our democracy. Equally significant is that this Budget Vote comes a few months after the National Development Plan was developed and presented to the nation, and the Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training which was released for public comment three months ago. Even more significantly, it is also the year of the Centenary for the ruling party, and 57 years after the founding of the Freedom Charter which can be regarded as the foundation of our thinking in terms of where we are taking Higher Education and Training in the country.
In reflecting on the past 3 years since the establishment of the department, one can safely say that it has been largely a period of setting up a new Department, but it has also been marked with a number of key achievements in advancing Government’s electoral mandate, which is informed by the Outcomes approach as well as the targets in the Delivery Agreement. A few key achievements worth noting are:
The Budget Vote speech this afternoon will be consolidating on these achievements and form the basis from which the department will be moving forward, towards the provisioning of a highly integrated, articulated, responsive and flexible post-school system for South African youth and adults. Without going into the details of my Budget Vote speech, I will be talking to and in some instances make announcements in relation to:
- The establishment of a fully functional department with the necessary skills, technologies, systems and processes.
- Increased access to programmes leading to intermediate and higher level learning.
- Improved access to post-school education and training opportunities by making sure that financial need ceases to be a barrier to higher education opportunities.
- Started to address the challenge of new teacher supply for the country by expanding the provision of foundation phase teacher education in line with the Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa.
- On track in improving the functioning of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) in terms of their capability and strengthening the alignment of information, finance, governance and management with the post-school learning system.
- Increased work placement opportunities for Further Education and Training, and University Graduates.
- Established the Artisan Development Technical Task Team to monitor the progress of the Artisan Development Programme, which is aimed at addressing the needs of our economy.
- Restoring a culture of accountability and good governance within our post schooling institutions.
The Budget Vote speech will provide more detail in all these areas to ensure that we achieve our vision of a single, coherent, differentiated and articulated post-school education and training system that seeks to expand access, overcome inequalities and achieve high levels of excellence and innovation.
- The Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training, which was released for public comment 3 months ago, and will within the next 6 days close for public comment on 30 April 2012.
- Teacher education and the investments government will be making in this programme to expand our capacity.
- Universities in relation to funding, student accommodation and overall infrastructural development as well as the 2 new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.
- The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). As I have indicated, government is making sure that financial need is becoming less of a barrier to higher education opportunities, although we still have some way to go. Students need to also play their part and pass to open up the opportunities for more deserving students.
- Further Education and Training, wherein among a range of actions, we are developing the Colleges to become institutions of choice for higher education and training.
- Adult Education and Training within the context of the Community Education and Training Centres as outlined in the Green Paper.
- The Skills Development and Levy Grant Institutions in relation to the National Skills Development Strategy III and the National Skills Accord signed between government, organised labour and business in July 2012.
- Developments within the National Qualifications Framework.
Cell: 076 883 4144
Issued by: Department of Higher Education and Training
24 Apr 2012
[ Top ]