9/07/2014 – Department of Higher Education and Training invites public comment on Articulation Policy

ACDP Parliament
Public Notice
Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Chief Whip

Department of Higher Education and Training invites public comment on Articulation Policy

The Department of Higher Education and Training has published the Report of the Ministerial Committee on Articulation Policy, (Schedule 1) and the advice of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the principles that should underlie a policy to direct the articulation pathways of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) (Schedule 2), and has invited public comment in writing from the public.

Comments can be emailed to Ms B Molaudzi at Molaudzi.b@dhet.gov.za  by no later than Wednesday27 August 2014.

Enquiries can be directed to Ms B Molaudzi on Tel: (012)-312-5178.

Kindly provide the following contact information when submitting comments: name, organisation if applicable, address, telephone and fax numbers and email address.

Complete documentation can be requested from the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office, Email: kpetersen@parliament.gov.za 

Extracted summary of the documents:

A definition of articulation is provided by a World Bank study of higher education differentiation and articulation in 12 African countries in 2007:

Articulation refers to the mechanisms that enable student mobility within and among the institutions that comprise the tertiary system, for example, academic credit accumulation and transfer, recognition and equivalence of degrees, recognition of prior learning, and so forth.

This view is amplified in a statement made by the Minister of Higher Education and Training:

A well-articulated system is one in which there are linkages between its different parts; there should be no silos, no dead ends. If a student completes a course at one institution and has gained certain knowledge, this must be recognised by other institutions if the knowledge gained is sufficient to allow epistemological access to programme[s] that they want to enter. (Minister B E Nzimande, 15 February 2013).

There is a clear and unambiguous requirement that the education and training system must meet the needs of the economy. On the one hand there is well-documented evidence that the economy is skills-starved. On the other hand this is an economy in constant transition. There is need therefore to ensure that South Africans are ushered into an education and skills system that takes these needs into account: that we address the skills shortage directly and with vigour and that the pathways are open for individuals to migrate through the system picking up new skills and engaging in new educational opportunities.

Articulation will ensure that unemployed or potentially unemployed people may find some route into the education system to gear them for new employment opportunities.

Our basic education system reproduces deeply embedded inequalities of opportunity. It is impossible to assess the full potential of South Africans at the point that they leave school – especially those that attend schools in rural, peri-urban and inner city contexts. It is imperative therefore that the post-school education and training system has sufficient flexibility to facilitate the migration of learners through different parts of the system so that individuals may have the opportunity to explore their potential. This will include the availability of second chance or re-entry opportunities. Such flexibility requires a fully articulated post-school system of education and training.

Higher education is the largest part of the post-school education system and also the most expensive part per student. This is often referred to as the ‘inverted pyramid’ problem.

A more effective, affordable, efficient structure would have the college sector (FET, nursing, agricultural, etc.) and other forms of post-school education and training as the largest part of the system; larger that is, than the university system.

A system that works for the general population is one that inspires and provides hope. It undermines barriers – both systemic and attitudinal. It evokes confidence that the post-school system meets peoples’ needs, for which articulation is a necessary condition.

There is broad consensus on the general principles for articulation. Articulation should not only be seen as a route into higher education but between schooling and the vocational and occupational routes as well as into the workplace.

-ENDS-

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