Government has reiterated its commitment to strengthening the Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector, as a means of providing a seamless transition into economic activities.
During a visit to Imbali Education and Innovation Precinct (IEIP) in KwaZulu-Natal, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said the precinct is intended to be the first of three such precincts to be established, as part of the new National Plan for Post-School Education and Training, with next one to be set up in Giyani, Limpopo.
“The project is also in line with our White Paper for, PSET which aims to build an expanded, effective and integrated PSET system.
“The project comprises an interconnected set of institutions, which are able to collaborate and support each other in the delivery of their individual mandates, including through establishing strong relationships with the communities in which they are located, and with industry and civil society organisations in their locality,” Nzimande explained.
The Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation piloted the education precinct model in Imbali because the specific collection of education institutions in the locality provides the perfect location for an education precinct model to be implemented and piloted.
“Imbali is eminently suitable for this precinct development, as it already has in close proximity institutions which cover the full range of education tiers, including an early learning facility, a variety of school and post school facilities, including a university campus, a school for the disabled, a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) campus and other related amenities.
“This project is also in line with our new landscape of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation which aims at aligning our skills development and innovation strategies much closer together in order to facilitate an innovation-led, skills based, economic growth and development strategy.”
Nzimande said the department intends to integrate the country’s universities, TVET colleges, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and National System of Innovation (NSI). This is in order to produce a “well-rounded student, who is ready to take up their positions within our economy”.
Through this initiative, the country will be able to prepare intellectually astute and skilled students ready to deal with the needs of the 21st century.
“This is the reason why I would like to expand the mandate of the Imbali precinct to include innovation and cultural programmes to ensure that there is no facet of student development which is left undeveloped,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za