Public comments sought on Post-School Education and Training Green Paper

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pretoria - Stakeholders in higher education have until Monday to submit comments on the Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training released three months ago by the Higher Education and Training Department.

Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, urged stakeholders to engage in this process.

"After the closing, on April 30, we will look at the comments and work towards producing a White Paper," Nzimande said during his department's Budget Vote on Tuesday.

The ambitious Green Paper launched in January will see the country move towards producing more graduates with the in-demand skills necessary to grow the economy.

It aims to align the post-school education and training system with South Africa's overall development agenda.

The paper outlines targets linked to various government expansion strategies, including the New Growth Path; Industrial Policy Action Plan 2; Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa 2010-2030 and South Africa's Ten-Year Innovation Plan by the Department of Science and Technology.

"This will allow the department to contribute more effectively to the goal of inclusive economic growth and development and to contribute fundamentally to reducing unemployment and poverty," Nzimande said at the time of the launch.

The paper also sets out a broad policy for expanding and improving access to post-school education and training opportunities to all sectors of the population; strengthening institutions to improve education quality and building a post-school education and training system that is equitable, accessible and affordable, including free education and training for the poor.

It also sketches out a vision for a progressive post-school education and training system, which will contribute to overcoming the challenges facing society. The department proposes to do this by nurturing a culture of education that inspires high levels of excellence and innovation.

The green paper further proposes the increased involvement of Sector Education and Training Authority (SETAs) in higher education and training institutions instead of private sector service providers, and to clarify their role as facilitators of training and development of the skills of the workforce.