College improvement in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo (Kedibone Boka)
JET Education Services was appointed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in September 2011 to manage the Technical and Vocational education and Training (TVET) Colleges Improvement Project (CIP) in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo for a period of three years. The Eastern Cape CIP was launched by the Director-General of Higher Education and Training in October 2011, while the Limpopo CIP was similarly introduced to Limpopo colleges in January 2012.
The key objective of the project has been to improve the functionality of the 15 colleges across the two provinces. The main intention of the intervention was to improve the ability of colleges to increase the certification rate of students.
In order to achieve these objectives, the project has foregrounded the improvement of teaching and learning delivery at college and campus level to develop campus improvement plans and processes. These plans included a focus on lecturer development, analysing subject exam results in order to identify weak subjects and academic support programmes. This was supported by a strong focus on increased access of college students to workplace learning opportunities, as well as support to improve data management at a campus level. Mathematics focused revision workshops were conducted for students as part of supporting weak subject performances identified in the college improvement plan. To ensure sustainably in student academic support at campus level a student- based peer tutoring system was set up and a capacity building mechanism to support those who run the system was implemented.
The college improvement project initiated support at campus level through the development of campus improvement plans and processes. With the support of deputy principals, academic and student support managers and Education Management Information System (EMIS) managers, JET technical advisors went to campuses to monitor and support lecturers, Head of Departments (HODs), Work based Education (WBE) co-ordinators and EMIS data capturers. JET co-ordinated training workshops at colleges for teaching and learning, WBE as well as college wide integrated academic capacity building. Technical advisors have also provided support around strategic and operational planning and budgeting, enrolment planning and management, improving occupational health and safety, and the training of governing councils.
The Work Integrated Learning activities have resulted in the development of campus level WBE committees and the placement of significant numbers of students in on-course work experience during their holidays.
The lessons learnt from the CIP are currently being written up by JET and the findings will be disseminated in early 2015. JET is also working closely with DHET to ensure that these findings will be made available to the college sector and all relevant stakeholders.
Kedibone Boka is the Executive Manager for Youth and Community Development Division at JET Education Services. Her responsibilities include working with TVET Colleges on youth development projects and livelihoods.
For further information contact Kedibone Boka at KBoka@jet.org.za