The number of challenges facing students at South Africa’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges is profound. Many come in with fragile educational foundations, inadequate financial resources, insufficient English proficiency, and a lack of career guidance (Moodley & Singh 2015). Many others try to pursue their studies while already working full- or part-time, or caring for family members at home.
Meanwhile, TVET colleges themselves are trying to cope with the changing profile of the students they now serve. In any given classroom, lecturers encounter students from multiple language groups who may have physical or learning disabilities and who occupy several age categories.
To deal with the challenges that emerge from this – and the calls for TVET colleges to prepare their students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution – new programmes have been developed requiring higher cognitive investments from students and greater infrastructure and resource allocation from the government (DHET 2020).