Performance of Tvet Colleges in South Africa

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Performance of Tvet Colleges in South Africa

Performance of Tvet Colleges in South Africa

In South Africa’s educational system, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are essential because they offer students the knowledge and skills they need to be prepared for the workforce. The effectiveness of these institutions is a topic of great interest since it has a direct impact on the development and expansion of the nation’s economy. In this article, we talk about how TVET colleges in South Africa stack up against one another, as well as the steps that have been made to improve educational outcomes. Performance of Tvet Colleges in South Africa

In South Africa, there are fifty registered and certified public TVET colleges operating on 364 campuses across the country’s rural and metropolitan areas. The Continuing Education and Training Act 16 of 2006 authorizes the establishment and operation of public TVET colleges, which are administered by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Poor Performance at TVET Colleges:
Conceptualizing a Distributed Instructional Leadership Approach as a Solution


In South Africa the challenges facing the post-school vocational education system are daunting. There is a lack of coherence, resulting in the fragmentation of the system. A Training Needs Assessment Study commissioned in 2014 revealed several major academic challenges facing college leadership. The most pressing issues were poor leadership and management skills and challenges facing lecturers in various aspects of teaching and learning, amongst which were blatant shortcomings in their capabilities to meet the competencies required for effective lecturing.

This realization led the researchers to hypothesize that ineffective and fragmented leadership and management practices may be to blame for this state of affairs. The researchers wondered whether an integrated and focused leadership model aimed at distributing ownership for student achievement should be implemented to produce better results. The overarching research question was:

What are the main stumbling blocks in improving National Certificate: Vocational (NC(V)) students’ performance at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges; and how can a distributed instructional leadership approach be conceptualized to address the problems at the institutional level? A qualitative research approach was used, which was mainly inductive, providing a clear understanding of the participants’ views and capturing their perceptions in their own words.

A phenomenological design was used as a strategy of inquiry. The findings created awareness for considering collaboration and the distribution of powers and capabilities to bring about a shared leadership vision in the quest for challenging poor performance at the institutional level in a sector that is in dire need of positive outcomes.

Keywords: distributed instructional leadership; instructional leadership; phenomenological design; student learning outcomes; student performance; student support; technical and vocational education and training

Fact Sheet on Throughput Rates for TVET College


The total number of students who successfully finished NC(V) Level 4 in year 3 (2018) is divided by the total number of students who enrolled in NC(V) Level 2 in year 1 (2016), multiplied by 100, to determine the throughput rate. Based on a comparison of the same cohort of students who began in year 1 and finished in year 3, this computation was made. To calculate the throughput rate, the TVETMIS dataset and the National Examinations Database were combined.


  • Since there is no shared identification between the two data sources (TVETMIS and the DHET examination database) used to estimate throughput rates, the study presented in this Fact Sheet does not include students who are foreign nationals. While the examination database utilizes an examination number to identify foreign students, TVETMIS employs a passport number to identify foreign national students. The exclusion of international students may cause the overall throughput rate to be either overestimated or underestimated. Considering that only 403 international students, out of 89 174 total students enrolled in NCV programs in 2016, this restriction is not anticipated to have a substantial impact.
  • Exam-only students who completed NCV Level 4 in year 3 were excluded from the analysis because they do not receive any teaching and learning from colleges but only write an examination.
  • Owing to unit-level record data not being available for 2015, all students enrolled for NCV Level 2 in 2016 are included in the calculation for the throughput rate. This means that the calculation of the throughput rate includes those students who may have repeated all or some subjects in 2016. Students who enrolled for all or only a few subjects in 2016 (since they could
    have been repeating these subjects in 2016), have a higher probability of completion in 2018. This will result in the throughput rate being higher than it would have been if only new entrant in 2016 enrolment data was used


  • In the 2016 academic year, 88 771 students enrolled in the NC(V) Level 2 program. In 2018, only 8 135 students of this cohort completed the NCV Level 4. Therefore, 9.2% of all students enrolled in the NC(V) 2 program in 2016 completed this qualification within the expected time frame. The overall throughput rate of the 2016 NCV Level 2 student cohort was
    therefore 9.2%. (Table 1
  • The NC(V) Level 2 throughput rate for females was 4.6 percentage points higher than that for males and 1.8 percentage points higher than the overall throughput rate of 9.2%. (Table 2)
  • The highest throughput rate was in the Transport and Logistics program, which was 7.2 percentage points higher than the overall throughput rate. The second highest throughput of students was in the Education and Development program, which was 6.5 percentage points higher than the overall throughput rate. (Table 3)
  • The lowest throughput rate for the 2016 NC(V) Level 2 cohort was in the Drawing Office Practice program, which was 5.5 percentage points lower than the overall throughput rate, followed by the Information Technology and Computer Studies Programme at 4.8%. (Table 3)

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The effectiveness of TVET institutions in South Africa is crucial in determining the composition of the nation’s future labor force and its level of economic development. Policymakers and educators may create a climate that supports excellent technical and vocational education by assessing key performance metrics and addressing variables that affect effectiveness.

Bridging the skills gap and empowering students through TVET colleges will surely be a cornerstone of success in the constantly changing global landscape as the country continues its road toward prosperity.

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