More training colleges needed: ANC
Johannesburg – A focus on the need for training colleges for budding farmers, nurses and teachers was highlighted by the ANC NEC subcommittee on Education and Health on Sunday. “The [higher education and training] sector further recommends that the ANC ensure that the sector accelerates and completes the opening of professional colleges to increase training in agriculture, nursing, and teaching,” said Naledi Pandor, chairperson of the national executive committee’s subcommittee, in a statement about the party’s ANC policy discussion document.
The policy discussions come ahead of the ruling party’s national policy conference in June. Between 1994 and 2000 the government shut down teacher training colleges and merged them with other institutions. In 2013, Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced plans to re-introduce teacher training colleges. In Sunday’s media statement, the party also called for a model to be implemented by 2020 that would provide for free higher education for poor families – as well as increased support for families struggling to afford fees. Among other recommendations for the sector, the party wanted the finalisation of a framework for regulating higher education fees as well as the redesign for how funding was applied.
The subcommittee also wanted the sector to “put in place policies to facilitate an increase in retirement age of academic staff”. Turning to health, the party raised concern that despite interventions such as certain genetic testing programmes, TB remained a “primary underlying cause of death” in SA. Nevertheless, it noted that the sector had performed well in terms of its HIV/ AIDS programmes. The party welcomed public submissions on its various policy discussions.