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Unissued TVET certificates

Committee chairperson Connie September said the committee has noted the efforts of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande in trying to resolve the matter. However, the delays were unacceptable. “The Department of Higher Education and Training, Umalusi and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) do not seem to have a sense of accountability on this matter and seem to blame each other.

“The fact that students do not have certificates negates government’s objectives to have skilled young graduates in order to alleviate the poverty challenge. The policy that certificates should be produced in three months [after graduating] is simply not being adhered to,” September said. The department, Umalusi and SITA were in Parliament on Wednesday to brief the committee on challenges in issuing certificates.

The members of the committee expressed frustration and dissatisfaction over the backlog in issuing certificates, which has not been cleared since 2007. “This is a travesty of justice. Action must be taken against lecturers who do not submit marks, resulting in students having to rewrite models. The committee will engage the Departments of Telecommunications and Basic Education on what steps can be taken to address the situation,” September said.

She said the Department of Higher Education and Training, Umalusi, colleges and SITA will be called before the committee again to provide an update report on how they are adhering to policy.