Tshwane North College

It would be impossible to give an overview with regard to the new Tshwane North College for FET unless considerable time is spent on the merger process of technical colleges in South Africa and the new educational landscape foreseen for this specific educational sector. Prof Kader Asmal, the former Minister of Education, in July 2001 stated that the old technical college system was in many ways outdated, ineffective, poorly led and badly structured. It was established and designed to support a world that no longer existed where academic qualifications were the ultimate achievement and students were produced in their numbers without being trained properly for the world of work. The merger process and the declaring of all former technical colleges as Further Education and Training institutions thus sought to transform this sector in order to promote lifelong learning and workforce development. But most importantly, it sought to provide access to learning that encourages inclusive democratic citizenship. The new FET system must meet the needs of the community and offer realistic and purposeful learning – not just a bridge and pathway into employment, but as a way of creating better citizens and a better life for all. These new institutions will play an important role in being centrepieces of the community and must meet this challenge with good service, realistic programmes and the best possible career advice. The new FET institutional landscape will consist of 50 FET Colleges. The historical division of state and state-aided technical colleges would be something of the past. FET colleges would be created that operated under a single legislative framework and would be better geared towards meeting the Human Resources Development demand of this new century.

On Wednesday 18 July, on the 94th celebration of our beloved Nelson Mandela, the life of a poor physically disabled student of Tshwane North College (TNC), Soshanguve Campus had been changed.

When the Senior Managers of TNC met at Soshanguve South Campus they had been made aware of the fact that Zandile Dlamini, one of the students enrolled for NC (V) Level 2 Office Administration, was in dire need of a wheelchair. Due to her poor family background and financial status she would never have been in the position to acquire a wheelchair herself.

Datacentrix had been approached by TNC to donate a wheelchair to Zandile. They immediately agreed and furthermore requested HP to also donate a laptop to her.

Attendees at this handing over function, hosted by Messrs Rirhandzu Salane and Thabo Mashego were: (from Datacentrix) the Managing Director Mr Kenneth Nkosi; Ms Rejoice Mampitha, HR Manager and Mr Wiseman Ncgobo (Account Manager) (from HP) Mr Brandon Naidoo (Public sector: Education); (from MTM Media – the sponsors of the refreshments for the function) the following Managing Directors: Messrs Setoaba; Mokono and Seshibe; Ms Priscilla Rammonye (the Social Worker responsible for Zandile Dlamini) and her assistant; (from TNC) the Acting Principal, Ms Portia Makola and other Senior Managers.

An Overview of the College

PROVINCIAL ANALYSIS:

    • Central features of the new landscape:

The 32 FET institutions in Gauteng are being reconfigured as 8 FET Colleges.

The Tshwane North College for FET consists of the following institutions:

    • Mamelodi College
    • Soshanguve College
    • Pretoria College

TSHWANE NORTH COLLEGE FOR FET
The Tshwane North College for FET, with three main campuses spread along the central, northern and eastern parts of the Greater Pretoria area, came about by the merging of the following three technical colleges:

  • Soshanguve College
  • Pretoria College
  • Mamelodi College

These three colleges, as were all technical colleges in South Africa, were declared public Further Education and Training Institutions in September 2001 as part of a process to make colleges more efficient and the delivery of programmes more streamlined. For this reason these Colleges now operate under Act 98 of 1998, the Further Education and Training Act. This Act further stipulates that an FET institution should:

  • Promote the realisation of the potential of every student and staff member
  • Respond to the needs of South Africa, the labour market and the communities served by the Institution
  • Provide optimal learning opportunities
  • Ensure access to further education and training and the workplace for all persons
  • Promote the values which underline an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom

In striving to realise these objectives, the three institutions have been working on a merger plan since August 2001 of which some aspects have been implemented already. Eight working groups were established in 2003 and focussed on the following main areas of responsibilities:

  • Finances
  • Academic programmes
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Administration and business systems
  • Quality Assurance
  • Human Resources
  • Learner Affairs and Support
  • Infrastructure and Facilities

Attention has already also been given to the following aspects:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Promotion of reconstruction and development
  • Special emphasis will be placed on the development of formerly deprived communities and regeneration projects
  • Community service and learnerships will be linked to career-oriented studies
  • Delivery will be through multi-sites and partnerships
  • The new college will have to tap into public, private and civil society resources
  • Local communities will have to be served

CONCLUSION
It is clear from all the aforementioned that the merger between the Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Pretoria Colleges will contribute to the realization of the objectives as were set by Government, such as that it will:

  • be an institution that will respond to the needs of industry and the different communities it serves
  • concentrate on the identified economic growth and development priorities of the province
  • provide lifelong learning opportunities for post-school and out-of-school youths and adults through the acquisition of medium and high-level skills that will lead to formal qualifications
  • provide high-quality programmes that are diverse, work-orientated and responsive to support the vision of a “smart province”.

Owing to the diversity of the three institutions, it is possible to cater for the needs of a very diverse target market and the College will continue to play a vital role in the upgrading and improvement of not only qualifications, but also the living standards of the people it will be serving; it is indeed:
“Inspiring individuals”