Students’ perspectives on the contribution of community education and training colleges to local communities

Thumbnail Image
Modise, Cynthia Nthabiseng
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of the Free State
Although the White Paper on Post-School Education and Training and scholars describe the role of Community Education and Training Colleges (CETC1s), a gap still exists regarding how CETC¹s carry out their duties in society. The aim of this study was to address this gap by exploring the participants’ perspectives on how CETC¹s value their contribution to addressing the challenges and needs of local communities. The Capability Approach (CA) was employed as the analytical framework in this study to examine the societal impact of CETC¹s in South Africa. Data were collected from research participants through semi-structured interviews, and thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. The findings of the study indicate that students perceive CETC¹s as economic agents that facilitate their employability or engagement in self-employment. The CA highlights the importance of considering the resources provided to students and how their conversion factors influence their functionings in successful efforts to enhance CETC¹ education. The findings suggest that the role of CETC¹s is to provide students with opportunities for intellectual advancement and the ability to evaluate what is relevant to them. However, it is crucial to be mindful of CETC¹ education, particularly in light of the participants’ expressed valued capabilities and functionings, encompassing societal and economic values. Although CETC¹s enhance students’ skills, their valued capabilities are constrained by classroom size, financial limitations, and curricular concerns. Based on the empirical findings, the study argues that the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) should enhance the theoretical and practical understanding of CETC¹s’ role. This would require CETCs to introduce democratic educational concepts to strengthen student voices; expand CETC's curriculum to include sustainable livelihood strategies; work with technical and vocational colleges and universities to coordinate curricula and ensure quality; and rethink college policies to help students more effectively navigate the institutions systems. In addition, by resolving infrastructural issues, limited classrooms, low student funding, and a lack of alignment between CETC and local community requirements, these CETCs should be able to better recognise the societal function of CETC1s. Such initiatives might improve student welfare and societal welfare while promoting the economic advantages of CETC1s.
Dissertation (MDS (Development Studies))--University of the Free State, 2023