South Africa Launches Community College System

South Africa Launches Community College System

South Africa launched a community college program this month as an alternative for students who need adult or continuing education or training but are unable to enter universities.

Nine community education and training colleges — one for each South African province — will merge existing public adult learning centers into community colleges to train students who need technical skills for the job market, according to an APA report in AllAfrica.

The community colleges will cater to a population that is not being served in the post-schooling environment.

The program will target youth and adults who didn’t complete school or never attended school at all, according to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, StarAfrica reports.

Nzimande said a turnaround strategy was developed for South Africa’s technical colleges “to ensure that technical colleges become the first option of choice for our youth.”

Nine community colleges were identified for launch in the 2015 pilot with each province getting one.

The goal is to move continuing education and adult education from a provincial to a national competency.

About 38,000 staff and employees from adult education and training centers and technical and vocational colleges in provincial education departments transferred April 1 to the Department of Higher Education and Training.

They will form part of the bedrock of the soon-to-be-launched community college system, AllAfrica reports.

Nzimande spoke at ceremony in Soweto.