SA College of Business encourages alternative education facilities
While South Africa’s youth are desperate for learning and for career opportunities, employers are bemoaning the shortage of skilled labour. The reality is that about three million people between the ages of 18 and 24 are not accommodated in the education and training system or in the labour market. This is an appalling waste of human potential.
Despite the changes made to the education system since 1994 it continues to produce and reproduce race, class and gender inequalities with regard to educational opportunities and success. Part of the problem lies in the fact that post-school education and training is inadequate in quantity, diversity and sometimes also quality. The green paper for Post-School Education and Training, which is currently open for public comment, outlines measures to overcome the structural challenges facing this society by expanding access to education and training opportunities and increasing equity.
Technology makes learning more dynamic
“There is a mistaken belief among young people that in order to further your career you need to go to university,” says South African College of Businees (SACOB) principal, Stacey Henn. SACOB aims to change this thinking by encouraging student enthusiasm for alternative education facilities. It will do this by bridging the gap between the education that traditional campus students are receiving and that which correspondence students are receiving.
It marries traditional correspondence education with modern learning tools to bring the lecturer into the student’s living room. This is achieved through technology such as video and online lectures, learner management systems, online assessments, innovative student support centres, DVD’s, instant messaging and forums. This technology helps to make the learning experience more dynamic and interactive for the student. “We want to provide a traditional education through modern delivery,” says Henn. “Our lectures are geared for an online audience – they are not dull recordings of a lecturer on a podium.”
Townships will get connected via broadband
Traditional study aids are obviously available too – textbooks and telephone conversations with a lecturer. While some may argue that the use of digital technology may exclude thousands of students without access to the Internet, Henn notes that the opposite will soon be true.
“Technological advancement will see townships like Soweto connected to a broadband computer network in time and tablet PCs will become as ubiquitous as cell phones – in a fraction of the time it took cell phones to establish themselves.”
SACOB is new on SA’s education scene but has partnered with the likes of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and the Institute of Business Studies to bring candidates an accredited range of business education courses.