A critical analysis of government policy on appropriate rural vocational education and training in the light of the perceptions of youth in Mavalani Village, Limpopo.
The aim of this study is to critically analyse government policy on appropriate rural vocational education and training in the light of perceptions of youth in Mavalani Village, Limpopo. The stance that I take in this study is that rural youth need to participate in education and training policy-making because they are the ones affected by these policies. I argue that meaningful policies are ones that are developed by people they are meant to serve. The literature review and theoretical framework indicate that neo-liberalism has negative impacts on VET internationally and in South Africa. Although there are social, political and cultural aspects in the education and training of South Africa, the economic aspects are more dominant. I use the theory of Food Sovereignty to counter neoliberalism which promotes the rights of business at the expense of people’s livelihoods and lives. Food Sovereignty is for the right of natural persons to own and control their own destinations, although it takes food production and distribution as the point of departure. This qualitative study is framed within a critical paradigm where I look at power relations in society and how people can strive to change their circumstances. I used purposive sampling where I selected participants based on my knowledge of the population in question. The findings of the study indicate that VET in South Africa needs to be improved to better serve the interests of young people. The findings suggest that there are a lot of changes that need to be made in VET in the country, and that Community Learning Centres need to offer VET that is community-based and relevant to local development and context. The findings are in line with the theory of Food Sovereignty in that they encourage community participation, collective action and communal ownership, as opposed to neo-liberal capitalism where private ownership is ‘the order of the day’.
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