An assessment of the provision of manufacturing engineering and technology (MET) subjects in the FET band in the Sisonke District.
Mbambo, Duduzile Carol.
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Technical and Vocational Education and training (TVET) is perceived as education that provides students with manpower related skills. During the Apartheid era, TVET occupied a small space in the South African education system as it was accessible to Whites only. However, after 1994, there were a lot of changes in the education system to redress the imbalances of the past. TVET in secondary schools has since been labelled as Manufacturing Engineering and Technology (MET) subjects in the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). This research sought to assess the nature of MET subject provision in secondary schools in the Sisonke district, as well as the extent to which these are provided. The study was guided by the following broad research question, namely; What is the status of the provision of MET subjects in secondary schools in the Sisonke district? This research question was broken down into the following four sub-questions: Are MET subjects offered in secondary schools in the Sisonke District? If so, are MET subjects well provided for in these schools? What is the nature of the provision with respect to: o The types of schools? o The types of subjects? o Who teaches these subjects? How effective is the provision of MET subjects in the secondary schools within the Sisonke district? A transformative mixed method research design was used to collect the data required to answer the above research questions of this study. Two forms of data were collected, and an analytical framework was used to guide the analysis. The findings that were obtained indicated that: 1. Only six schools in the Sisonke district offered MET subjects out of the 86 secondary schools in this semi-urban to rural area. This reveals that, after 21 years of democracy in South Africa, there are still inequalities in the provision of education and training in basic education, which is usually found in rural areas. 2. The types of subjects being offered comprised engineering graphics and design, and civil technology and mechanical technology. 3. Out of 11 MET teachers, only two were under-qualified. 4. Curriculum implementation was generally theoretical in most of the schools, and practicals were not regularly conducted due to a lack of infrastructure, a lack of resources and equipment, a lack of machinery and tools, the fact that material is expensive, safety is a challenge, as well as the learner-teacher ratio. For these institutions to be effective, infrastructure and equipment to conduct practicals need to be put in place. Learners need to be exposed to, and provided with skills to work in the real world of work, which should begin at secondary school level.