Every year, thousands of South African youth drop out of university or college with an incomplete qualification.
Research done by the Growth Institute has shown that more than 40% of youth who drop out, actually completed a college or university programme but that their results are withheld for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the students have an outstanding study account, which causes the withholding of results.
Another 40% of youth think that they did not achieve a qualification after they dropped out and they simply do not know how to find out whether they are entitled to a qualification.
In the latter class, students have studied towards a professional exam and that some colleges withhold the fact that the student have passed the professional exam and are, therefore, entitled to a qualification.
In addition, some colleges mix and match professional qualifications with internal programs and refuse to award a qualification even though the student has met all the requirements of the professional examination body. In this case, qualifications are withheld because a student may not have completed a small fraction of the internal program.
Students who studied a NATED (N3, N4, N5 and N6) are often not awarded these qualifications because the students have not completed specific practical course requirements.
No matter what the case, the fact remains that students who wrote certain professional exams are not aware that they actually met all the requirements of the professional examining body. Such people need help to right a glaring social injustice.
The South African youth are not aware that they could make use of a Recognition of Prior Learning intervention so that they could be considered for an alternative qualification.
This sort of intervention is not a magic bullet that will transform an incomplete qualification in an alternative full qualification.
But the Growth Institute’s research has shown that 55% of youth who wrote some professional exam need only three more credits to be awarded a qualification at a specific level.
We are committed to help the South African youth get what they deserve.
• Peter van Nieuwenhuizen is chief financial officer at the Growth Institute, a private college in Johannesburg