13-17 February – QUALITY ASSURANCE

QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Stakeholders such as the government place pressure on educational institutions (service
providers) to be accountable for providing high quality of education. In this scenario quality assurance (QA) must ensure that students receive education, training and development that is relevant to a changing world, takes into account the context in which learning must take place and equip learners/students correctly for the work environment (Gawe, & Heyns in Maree & Fraser: 161).

Educationalist Jonathan Jansen indicates that the school system in South Africa produces on average low grade learners due to numerous factors. (Jansen in Mbeki: 100 – 102). Thus, training institutions like Mentornet is facing the challenge of having to present adult learning to people with a weak educational foundation. That underwrites the importance of a course in QA on this level and the challenges facing service providers in Education, Training and Development (ETD) equipping students for future life.

Facilitation is the foundation of the educational process. Olivier states (Olivier: 40) that the facilitator must ensure that the training is focused on the work place. However, a high standard of facilitation is not enough. Presenting the course on QA during the week of 13 to 17 February at Mentornet the prescribed textbook explained the need of the establishment of a positive quality culture in QA as an insurance policy for a high standard of ETD in all its phases, ie designing and development of courses, facilitation, assessment and moderation (Nel: 1), also explaining the whole process to achieve this. A national framework for QA, following an integrated approach, setting of standards, ensuring credibility and quality of programme delivery, managing quality, leadership, investing in people and co-operation are all needed to provide a framework of quality. This will ensure that students are prepared for a changing world and for the work environment.

It is incredible how ETD provision had changed over the last two decades. The current generation should be grateful as they are so much better equipped through adult education compared to the older systems with their emphasis on acquiring masses of theoretical knowledge. Adult education must rectify the flawed school system in South Africa and for that the establishment of a positive culture for QA is vital.

Bibliography

1. Gawe, N. & Heyns, R. 2008. Quality Assurance, in Maree, J.G. & Fraser, W.J. (eds.): Outcomes-Based Assessment, Sandown, Heinemann.

2. Jansen, J. 2011. “South Africa’s Education System: How can it be made more
productive?” in Mbeki, M. (ed.): Advocates for Change – How to overcome Africa’s
Challenges, Johannesburg, Picador Africa.

3. Nel, J.P. 2010. Establishing a Positive Quality Culture in Education, Training and Development, Centurion, Mentornet.

4. Olivier, C. 1998. How to Educate and Train Outcomes-Based, Pretoria, J.L. van
Schaik.

 

James Jacobs