As part of the TVET Month 2021 campaign, we asked Ms. Basani Hlekani, Principal of the Vhembe TVET College: What does it mean to celebrate TVET and Women’s Month in August?
She responded: The month of August remains significant in the South African calendar. Not only because of the celebration of women as the pillars of strength who have immensely contributed to the liberation of this country but also for the recognition and positioning of the TVET sector as the first choice for prospective students to complete their qualifications in higher education and training.
2021 as “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke” where the country is realising women’s rights, we call upon everyone to join hands in the constant fight against gender inequality, GBV, and any other form of injustice to women at the workplace, as well as in the society.
It is just unfortunate that generally people still see TVET as a path only for those who are not ‘very bright, don’t have sufficient academic qualifications, or don’t have an academic interest. It is in most cases not considered as the first choice of study after secondary school or a path that might economically guarantee one of a worthy livelihood.
It is vitally important that awareness campaigns be made to young people as early as primary school level. Industry to come to play in recruitment of TVET graduates and mentoring them as well as curriculum design to meet their anticipated needs; career guidance be made to both students and teachers; pollical will from strategic partners; TVET colleges to recognize their products by hiring them or include them in motivational talks. It is also crucial that a message be made clear that getting a TVET education will give more room and opportunity to our youth to get jobs and create jobs in the country, which will stop our reliance on foreign workers.