Germany-based KfW Development Bank has signed an agreement with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to establish an in-service skills development centre for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) lecturers, at the Ekurhuleni East College.
The agreement, which is part of the bilateral development cooperation between Germany and South Africa, provides for a R136-million, or €8.25-million, grant to DHET.
The centre will offer training for lecturers from TVET colleges across South Africa in the fields of electrical and mechanical engineering.
These areas offer important potential for employment and growth of South Africa’s manufacturing sector.
The centre is intended to improve quality of teaching and thereby address shortfalls at TVET colleges and, ultimately, help South Africa overcome its critical youth unemployment crisis.
The project will feed into current policy reform processes by the DHET in the TVET lecturer qualification field and will help address minimum qualification requirements and the development of a framework for continuous professional development.
A statement by KfW says students’ qualifications will be more relevant to the marketplace and ensure that graduates are more employable.
“We look forward to supporting the South African government to improve the quality of teaching by college lecturers and to strengthen links with industry in order to enhance employment opportunities for young people,” says KfW director of Southern Africa Dr Thomas Duve.
“It is the mission of the DHET to develop capable, well-educated and skilled citizens who can compete in a sustainable, diversified and knowledge-intensive international economy which meets the development goals of the country,” adds DHET curriculum innovation chief director Gerda Magnus.
Germany has contributed about R35-billion in official development assistance to South Africa since 1994.
The current cooperation areas between the countries focus on priority areas such as green economy, technical and vocational education and training and skills development, good governance and public administration, as well as human immunodeficiency virus prevention.