By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Maluti TVET College acting principal Motlalepula Tsotetsi has emphasized that without a practical element where students can have a job experience; TVET Colleges can easily become glorified high schools.
This after the college organized a three day partnership engagement session with the business community and The Guard was able to attend the one held in Phuthaditjaba.
When speaking to this publication Tsotetsi emphatically said, “MalutiTvet College offers students three components of the learning experience, which is theory, simulation and job experience. That is why we decided as a college to have this engagement session with the business community, because as a college the industry is a key component of our curriculum.”
Businessman Paseka Mosia has a relationship with MalutiTVET College and this is what he had to say about his relationship with the college.
“The partnership between Maverick and the TVET college is to give the students an opportunity to complete their building and civil engineering courses and experience the workplace environment, It is very important to us as a local company to give students placement as part of their prescribed curriculum task.”
Maverick has seven students placed at his company, Mamokete Motsoeneng, Sydney Ndai, Nozipho Buthelezi, Teboho Mokoena, George Pheko, Immanuel Mofokeng and Tshepang Ramatobo. Students collectively agreed that it is important to have this job placement experience because it is a critical component of their curriculum so that they can complete their course and get their qualification.
Explaining how the partnership works , Anri Claassen acting Student Support Services Manager says that the TVET College has partnered with different stakeholders because for eighteen months students do their theory and then for another twelve to eighteen months they need practical exposure to the work environment.
“Our stakeholders are very valuable because we cannot do this without them, this is why we had a three day engagement session in Bethlehem, Harrismith and this one in Phuthaditjaba,” Claassen said. Astute businesswoman Felile Molefe owner of the guesthouse where the engagement session in Phuthadithjaba was held is a proud product of MalutiTVET College.
According Human Resource development Council of South Africa’s research conducted on Developing Partnerships in the South African TVET Colleges Sector in 2009 , the need to create working partnerships between TVET colleges and stakeholders, particularly industry, is borne out of the intention to make TVET colleges responsive to the needs of stakeholders, especially, but not exclusively, the labour market.
As government reconfigures the PSET sector, it is necessary to ensure that TVET colleges make a meaningful contribution to addressing national socio-economic goals. As institutions designed to address the artisanal skills development in the intermediate occupational level, it will be difficult to pursue the state’s grand plans of infrastructural development such as SIPs without this set of institutions.