As part of the turnaround strategy for the country’s Further Education and Training (FET ) colleges, the Department of Higher Education and Training has introduced an attendance and punctuality policy.
The policy will ensure students are in class and on time and will be introduced at all FETs across the country this year.
It will also help ensure FETs function properly, stability and boost the pass and certification rates for the colleges, which have been identified as a crucial sector in providing the country with the skills it needs to grow economically.
From now on there will be a regular and consistent process put in place by college management to monitor, follow up and report attendance.
Students will be expected to explain in person the reason for their absence and the authorisation of absences will be limited to specific situations.
Higher Education Director-General Gwebinkundla Qonde, says poor attendance and consistent tardiness will have an impact on the students’ examinations and funding.
He says students will be allowed to write examinations for every subject they have attained a minimum of 80 per cent attendance.
“FETs will be required to verify and provide attendance information to the department before the release of examination entry permits to students at the start of the examination session,” said Qonde.
In addition, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) payments for tuition, travel and accommodation will only be made if a student has a minimum of 80 attendance. Students who don’t attend class satisfactorily will face disciplinary action.
Qonde says students who don’t take their studies seriously should not be at colleges. “Colleges must enrol students who have an appetite to learn…we saw it fit that government must get the value for money from the operations of colleges by regulation and standardising good practice.”