Premier David Mabuza backs conversion of Perdekop Agricultural School into a Further Education and Training College
18 Jun 2012
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza is supporting the conversion of Perdekop Agricultural School into a Further Education and Training College (FET) as proposed by the local people.
The proposal is meant to benefit unemployed and unskilled youth within the Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality.
Premier Mabuza declared his support for an FET College at a community meeting held in Daggakraal during the two-day Cabinet Outreach Programme late last week saying the Department of Education in the province should look at the possibilities.
The people had raised a concern during the meeting that the provincial government should consider establishing tertiary institutions in their area as many learners with matric could not afford universities, and many were staying at home doing nothing.
The Premier was also told that the students had to travel to other municipalities and regions to access further education.
Mabuza conceded that many learners who completed matric around Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality indeed did not have labour-related skills and the FET College would come in handy in providing such skills. Many people dropped out of school and did not complete their matric.
He said the FET should focus on agricultural courses as the area was viable for farming business.
“The FET College will be yours and it will be based in Perdekop because there is a facility that could be utilised for this purpose. I am of the opinion that the envisaged FET College should not abandon agriculture as this place has numerous opportunities in this sector. This is an ideal and the only place in our province where we could berries, pears and apples could be farmed,” said the Premier.
Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality Mayor Vincent Malatsi explained to the Premier that in the past, the 60-year old Perdekop Agricultural School was used as a technical college with car dealers sponsoring with mechanical equipment.
It was later changed to focus on agriculture, but does not attract many learners regardless of producing good results.
“We must change the perception that when you study agriculture you will become a simple farmer. As a farmer, one does not only breed animals, but one becomes a mechanic, businessman, veterinarian and a manager. Therefore, in an effort of addressing skills shortage in this area, let us look at the possibilities of establishing this FET College and help our people with skills,” said the Premier.
Perdekop Agricultural School has un-used hostels which could accommodate at least 120 students and has 4.8 hectares of land. It boasts with a number of workshops and classrooms.
Pixlely Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality is willing to partner with the provincial government in establishing the FET College as it would contribute to their skills development initiatives.
Zibonele Mncwango, Spokesperson for Premier Mabuza
Cell: 079 491 0163
Tel: 013 766 2453
Issued by: Mpumalanga Office of the Premier
18 Jun 2012
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