Not grasping the nettle: Dilemmas in creating and funding a new institutional environment for adult, community, and technical and vocational education and training institutions

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John Aitchison


In spite of constitutional guarantees, ambitious policy promises, some initial enthusiasm for adult basic education and a well-run literacy campaign, South Africa has signally failed to construct a viable and vibrant adult and community education system that would parallel or enhance not only existing schooling, but also technical and vocational education systems. This article considers the current state of adult and community education and of technical and vocational education and training; in addition, it assesses the relevant recommendations in the Report of the commission of inquiry into higher education and training released in late 2017. Finally, it evaluates the extent to which the commission’s recommendations correspond to the reality and also to what is required for South Africa’s post-school offerings in the future.

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