South Africa – practical training via modern curricula

South Africa is making curricular development one of the core tasks of its future vocational education and training institute SAIVCET. Representatives from BIBB and GOVET met their South African partners in Pretoria to discuss how curricula are developed and who should have a say in the process.

South Africa – practical training via modern curricula

South Africa is seeking to tailor vocational education and training more closely to the requirements of trade and industry. In order to achieve this, obsolete curricula will need to be revised and new curricula will have to be created. Within this process, the focus will be on reaching agreement with the world of work. The things which young people learn during training must be a match for what they will later need in the workplace. For this reason, South Africa wishes to encourage networking on this topic between the state and trade and industry in a targeted way.

The plan is for the South African Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SAIVCET) to take charge of the development of curricula. A separate department will be established to deal with this topic. Its aims will be to secure the close involvement of employers and professional associations in order to integrate experiences from training practice and guarantee acceptance of new training regulations by companies providing Training.

South Africa will receive guidance from Germany and Switzerland along the way. “Social Dialogue”, a two-day conference hosted in Pretoria by the EU and the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), looked at the topic of what could be the nature of a South African solution for curriculum development. The event took place in June 2017 and was attended by international representatives from Germany, Switzerland and Finland alongside their South African partners. One of the major outcomes of this dialogue was that further optimisation of coordination procedures and stakeholder management was still required on the South African side. Parallel institutional structures and processes are still in place. The partners also agreed that the “Social Dialogue” format would continue with the assistance of the EU.

The development of curricula is just one topic amongst many on which South Africa is seeking to avail itself of German expertise in vocational education and training. Since 2013, GOVET has been acting on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to provide support to the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) in the establishment of SAIVCET. The aim is that the institute will contribute towards research into and further development of vocational education and training in South Africa. The DHET is scheduled to draw up a strategy paper on SAIVCET by September 2017.