Kwazulu-Natal Learning For Employment Partnership
Funded by ALO (currently HED) for USAID
Bronx Community College (BCC) coordinated the KwaZulu-Natal Learning for Employment Partnership (KLEP) from October 2002 through October 2005. KLEP was developed to assist Umgungundlovu Further Education and Training College (UFETC) better prepare students for viable employment by introducing their engineering faculty to new approaches for upgrading students’ literacy, numeracy, and technological skills. In addition, KLEP worked to improve student preparation for the workplace by strengthening partnerships between UFETC with local employers. The College Collaboration Fund (CCF) of the National Business Initiative (NBI) joined the partnership to provide support in this area.
In 2002, during the early KLEP planning stages, South Africa’s Department of Education announced the mergers of 152 technical colleges into 50 multi-campus further education and training colleges. While the partnership was originally planned with Northdale Technical College, Northdale was to become one of the five campuses comprising the new Umgungundlovu FET College. The provincially appointed UFETC rector fully embraced the partnership as he was just beginning a new role at a recently consolidated institution.
As a consequence of the multiple challenges following the mergers, the proposed 18-month project evolved into a 36-month initiative. During the three years of the partnership, the goals broadened to respond to the more immediate needs of the newly consolidated FET institution.
Although the consolidation of the technical colleges into larger FET colleges generated multiple challenges not only for our partnership but for the country’s educational framework as a whole, most importantly, the expansion of the FET colleges also continues to offer important opportunities for enhancing student preparation for jobs requiring high level skills.