Why it is that black people would see someone who is from or is currently at TVET College as a failure? Why are TVET Colleges seen as institutes for those who aren’t clever enough? Why are TVET Colleges seen as institutes for those who failed to get university exemptions? Are Universities better than TVET Colleges? Are they for people who fail to make it in life?

No, but there is a wrong perception about TVETs that I feel it needs to be addressed.

TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) Colleges, previously known as Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges, provide theoretical and practical training in their fields of study. They are not only for people who haven’t completed Grade 12. Many matriculates enrol at a TVET college to further their studies.

Many people from the black race say university education is better than TVET education. I say “No” that is not true or, should I say, it depends on how you look at it. Allow me to say there is a stigma attached to TVET Colleges which was created by the government or by society. I believe this stigma, status or wrong perception attached to TVET Colleges needs to be addressed.

This is a burning issue because some have a wrong impression about TVET Colleges. So, they decide to do crime or take a gap year (calling this ‘location management’) or look for employment rather than study at a TVET Colleges. This is a reality happening in our black societies. Everyone wants to go to university because there seems to be to be some sort of huge status attached to it. My question is why are they obsessed with status?

We as black people need to break free from this mentality. Why would one go and study for a degree and then be unemployed after completing it? Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong studying at universities but the issue is with the wrong perception about TVET Colleges. Both institutions have their own approach towards studies. Most TVET courses are practical and theoretical, while university’s specialise in theoretical degrees.

There are some courses at TVET College that I feel they can play a major role in our societies and in our country as whole. Courses like entrepreneurship (job creation) and engineering. I feel that government should put some extra effort in and invest resources in these courses so we can have a better society.

In TVET Colleges there some courses like fashion designer or hairdressing. After qualifying one won’t struggle to find employment and one can start a home-based business too. So, TVET is NOT an institution for failures.

I feel that government has some work to do on TVET Colleges. I feel that government has neglected TVET Colleges for quite some long time and that has given an incorrect impression about TVET, so there’s room for improvement. There’s a lot of things that government can still do to improve TVET Colleges. Infrastructure is one of the things that must be improved. Government can allocate money for infrastructure like they do for universities. I feel these two institution should be treated equally.

Most students after completing matric struggle to choose a field of study to follow. This is because some don’t know their strengths and weaknesses. We need to acknowledge that everyone is different and has different talents. These should be our guides to help us work out our career choice. Your interest and talents should determine whether you go to university or TVET, based on what each institute offers the individual according to their interest, not the status of what family members or society says. When we choose based on our own interest, we destroy the status mentality. Before choosing any career one needs to first discover our passion and only then choose an institution.

In many instances people make poor choices because of ignorance. We, as the black society, need to educate and equip ourselves and one another. We need to make use of resources that might be helpful to us such as reading the newspaper, watching educational programmes, watching the news and making use of the Internet, etc. We need to be aware about what is happening around us and not shy to ask if we don’t know something. Getting a mentor is another way of acquiring knowledge. In addition, becoming involved in activities like debating or book discussions can also increase one’s knowledge.

In conclusion allow me to say TVET Colleges are not institutions for failures or for people who didn’t make it in life. Let us fight the status mentality and start to encourage one another. We as the black race need to boost each other not tear one another down. In order to move forward with a purpose we need to eliminate the ignorance.

If you are currently studying at any TVET College or you had wrong perception about TVET Colleges hear me now: This is your time to shine. Forget about whatever negative remarks you’ve heard about TVET. This is your life. Remember, if you’re not sure then ask. Make use of the resources available to you. Stay positive. Be goal orientated, and develop a clear vision. To those who are currently studying at any TVET institution make the most of your time. Complete your courses, take your studies further and share your experience you had at TVET College with others so that they can learn.

Let us build each other, unity is power. Let our black people studying at universities support TVET students. Be who you are and support one another.


Tell us what you think: What do you think about the writer’s view on TVET College?