Environmental Outcomes in the South African Learnership System
Since 1994, the published environmental goals and objectives of the South African Government include environmental education outcomes in all education and training programmes and at all levels on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). In 1998 the Skills Development Act provided for the establishment of Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and learnerships, which are occupationally-based learning programmes leading to a qualification on the NQF.
By September 2002, 276 learnerships had been registered by the Department of Labour (DoL). The research sought to explore whether these learnerships, and others still under development by SETAs, reflected the government’s environmental education and training goals and objectives.
The research found a lack of environmental qualifications below the Higher Education and Training band of the NQF; variations in the interpretation of the critical outcome that includes ‘environment’; a range of manifest and latent environmental outcomes distributed across learnerships and SETAs; a strong influence of occupational health and safety legislation; and a lack of environmental policy and objectives in the SETAs themselves.
The report concludes that the government’s environmental goals and objectives are partially met quantitatively, but largely unmet qualitatively. Several policy recommendations are made to improve environmental practice in the learnership system.
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