Further Education and Development

FET College provision

The public Further Education and Training (FET) college sector as it is currently configured came into being in 2006 with the promulgation of the FET College Act. The former 152 technical colleges were merged into 50 FET Colleges with multi-campus sites. To address scarce skills and poor quality vocational programmes / qualifications, the Department of Higher Education and Training introduced the National Certificate (Vocational) NC(V) at public FET colleges in 2007.The NCV curriculum is characterized by a broad approach to education and training and a shift from theoretical curriculum to curriculum in which theory and practice are integrated. The NC(V) offers programmes in 14 vocational fields that are intended to respond to the priority skills and demands of the South African economy.  

FET College sector challenges

A number of challenges exist in this sector, key among these is the training, recruitment and retention of lecturers. The shortage of suitably qualified lecturers continues to dog the sector. The need for re-skilling of lecturers to support the delivery of new programmes is urgent. The second challenge is increasing throughput rates. While closely linked to the need for suitably qualified lecturers, this challenge has largely to do with the need for appropriate academic support programmes, especially for under-prepared students.

Saide's work focus in the FETCollege sector

In response to the challenges in this sector, the focus of SAIDE’s work is on finding innovative ways of building the capacity of FET lecturers. Building their capacity to engage with, and support under-prepared students to achieve success.

Saide can offer services in the following areas in the FET College sector

Support of policy development in the FET sector Saide has had a long term involvement in FET policy debates and advocacy around:

  • Diversification of post-secondary schooling
  • Clarification of articulation between college sector and universities of technology and the workplace
  • Engagement with the qualifications and professional development framework for FET lecturers
  • Advocacy around foundation programme for students.   

Contribution to research and analysis of the FET College sector including:

  • Lecturer’s profile: Who are the lecturers?
  • Students profile: Who are the students? What kind of support do they need?
  • Who should the students be? Post GETC, Post FETC, Adults?
  • Are curricula fit for purpose?     

Capacity building How can staff quality be improved? Capacity building around:     

  • Programme implementation
  • Course design, materials development, assessment and learner support both paper-based and on-line distance education delivery
  • Lecturer’s use of ICTs    

Promote the appropriate use of technology

  • Research appropriate use of technology in the FET College sector
  • Collaborate in the development of a career options portal   

Promote understanding and implementation of open learning approaches and distance education methods

  • Provide support for designing and setting up open and distance learning (ODL) systems and delivery of ODL programmes.
  • How to shift emphasis to, and implement resource–based learning in FET Colleges.
  • Support and contribute to networks and communities of practice involved in the development and use of open educational resources (OER).

Saide's track record in the FET sector

Saide has been a player in the FET College sector for more than ten years. In more recent years, in line with the introduction of the new NCV curriculum, the focus of our engagement has been around:

  • curriculum implementation
  • teaching and learning §  assessment
  • materials development, and
  • curriculum research including quality assurance. 

The following is an overview of key projects that Saide has undertaken in the FET college sector:

National training - Department of Education - the implementation of the Fundamentals in the NCV curriculum (2006-2008)

Professional development for FET college lecturers nationally: During 2006, 2007 and 2008, Saide was commissioned by the Department of Education (DoE) to design and deliver the national training for the introduction of the new NCV curriculum in English First Additional Language (Levels 2, 3 and 4) to FET college lecturers.  Over this three year period, training was delivered to approximately 600 lecturers. 

National Training - Department of Correctional Services - for Master Trainers in the Fundamentals - NCV Curriculum (2007)

Saide designed, coordinated and delivered training to Master Trainers from the Department of Correctional Services in all three of the Fundamentals (English, Mathematics and Life Orientation) in the NCV curriculum. 

Provincial Training (2004-2007) 

  • Eastern Cape Department of Education: Saide delivered training to lecturers from all Eastern Cape college lecturers in English First Additional Language in the NCV programme (2007).
  • Kwa Zulu Natal: SAIDE delivered advanced English First Additional Language (NCV) training at the request of Majuba FET College, Newcastle (2007).
  • Limpopo Department of Education: The Khanyisa Further Education and Training Programme (2004 -2007). This programme had three components. First, to increase the institutional capacity of FET colleges in the province to develop suitable materials for NQF aligned learning programmes and newly registered qualifications.

Second, a professional development programme for FET College lecturers to support the interpretation and implementation of the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV) curriculum. SAIDE designed and delivered 24 workshops, reaching approximately 600 lecturers across a range of programmes (Business studies, Engineering, Hospitality, Tourism, Primary Agriculture and the Fundamentals).  

Third, to develop an approach for the planning and implementation of Learnerships in the province.

North West Department of Education FET College Transformation Project (2005)

Saide was approached to be part of a consortium of organizations that had been commissioned to develop a “blue print” for the transformation of the NW province FET College sector. Saide's key focus in this eight month consultancy was to develop strategic and operational plans for the transformation of curriculum, teaching and learning approaches and quality assurance of programme delivery.

National Department of Education FET Research on Distance Education in the FET College sector 2004

This project involved research to obtain an overview of then current practices in distance education in South Africa in the FET band to assist the DoE to conceptualise  a distance education strategy in the this sector. Information was collected and case studies prepared on the Dassie Project, Technisa, and Intec. Key findings from the case studies was synthesised to provide an overview of practices.

Evaluation of SAQA Training Project on Using the NQF in FET Colleges (2004)SAIDE was commissioned by SAQA to evaluate the pilot implementation of six on line modules developed to assist FET lecturers to implement the NQF. On the basis of Saide's findings and recommendations, the modules were revised and submitted to SAQA.

Technisa Course Review and Evaluation Capacity Building (2002-2004)As part of a capacity building project, Saide worked with Technisa to assist them to align their programmes and courses with NQF requirements. This entailed SAIDE supporting Technisa to develop appropriate instruments and processes for the redevelopment of selected courses.   

Umalusi Qualifications Structure (2002)This project was commissioned by the then newly established Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education, Umalusi. Saide was required to prepare a discussion document on academic policy for programmes and qualifications for further education and training (FET). The key aim was to develop a policy framework within which qualifications and programmes for the three sectors in the FET band – schooling, vocational/technical, and adult learning, could be coherently developed. 


SAIDE (2005) Being a Vocational Educator: A Guide for Lecturers in FET Colleges. SAIDE: Johannesburg. 

SAIDE (2006) Facilitating Learner Centred Learning and Teaching – A Guide for Lecturers at Technical and Vocational Teachers Training Colleges. SAIDE: Johannesburg. 

Resulting from the Khanyisa Programme, SAIDE developed and published three guides in 2006: