The year 2020 is, without doubt, one year the whole world would want to forget yet reality suggests it is the year very difficult to forget even if one tries. The emergence of COVID-19 that shook the world left an indelible dent in the scalp of many. As a public institution, we could not escape the cruelty of the Covid-19 impact. The number of tuition days lost and the improvises that had to be made at all levels of the TVET sector justifiably demonstrates that where there is a will there is always a way. Slogans like save lives save the academic year got conceived to entrench the resilience of the leadership of the sector led by Honourable Minister Nzimande.
Cruel as it may, the year 2020 challenged all to engage the business in unusual gear leading to new found new normal. The implementation technology for teaching and learning got embraced to the extent that going back to the old normal could be perceived as reversing some gains made as a result of the reactions to Covid-19. The situation compels us to explore further utilisation of blended learning opportunities. Fortunately, the issue of blended learning is well captured in College’s Strategic Plan and subsequent Annual Performance Plan.
The College has adopted the use of technology on numerous activities that it is performing some of which include the application and registration processes. Implementation of online applications went through without impedances, some glitches were experienced with the online registration all of which could be resolved. It is therefore publicly pronounced that the application and registration processes will henceforth be done online and the College Community is requested to share this development with prospective students and the various constituencies that feed the College. The marketing unit of the College will disseminate this development through their marketing mix.
The College Management and Council have noted with appreciation the steady growth in Academic performance that the College has shown but remain adamant that we can better the performance. The achievement of Mapulaneng Campus needs to be isolated for praise particularly because history indicates that this campus has been perennial underachievers. Appreciation in this regard should go to the Campus Management and the Student Governance Structure (SRC) who remained focused on the core business of the campus despite glaring challenges. There is a new kid on the block Mashishing Campus who seem ready to bully and overthrow the rest of the other Campuses in several ways including academic performance. I am greatly pleased to realise the unity demonstrated by our Campus Managers but still competing healthy on several fronts. Having isolated Mapulaneng for their big jump in academic performance I wish to isolate Mashishing Campus as demonstrating a high level of cleanliness across the Campus from the gate to the workshops and I implore all others to want to overthrow them in this regard, well done Mr Kwayiyo and team.
It is no secret that the Audit Opinions about the College over the past four years have not been those desired. This is a big stone that will require our concerted efforts to overturn. Naturally, Audits are associated with a finance unit but the reality is that it should be an enterprise for all units and that is the context I would prefer it prevails within the College. A finance unit is only a custodian unit in an audit led by the DP Finance. The fact is that the Finance Unit is currently led by a young but highly intelligent lady and I invite all of us to rally behind her, she can and will give us a better audit in the near future. What pleases me more is that she is one of our own, she is home-brewed with the capacity to move us from the quagmire of undesirable audit opinion.
In the Corporate Services Unit which houses Human Resources, Marketing and Communication, Information Technology, Data Management and Infrastructure I am happy to note that some progress has been made on some key projects. I however would like to point to a few areas requiring our undivided focus namely:
- The implementation of the Post Provisioning norms upon lifting of the moratorium;
- Advocacy of College activities including the real-time nature of our College Website;
- Improved connectivity and Local Area Network at Campuses;
- Effective utilisation of the College’s Business Management System for enhanced data credibility; and
- Efficient management and utilisation of the Colleges Infrastructure Efficiency Grant from DHET.
The listings above may look overwhelming but with the quality of the governance structures, the articulate Annual Performance Plan and the comprehensive Annual Procurement Plan at our disposal they will all be overcome. As a source of strength, I wish to present a 2021 slogan with the caption ‘Proud Public Servants’. This slogan resonates well with our values as enshrined in our Strategic Plan.
In closing I wish to challenge our Management Board members to ensure the units they are representing are familiar with the Strategic Plan, the Annual Performance Plan, the Annual Procurement Plan the College Calendar and further design measures to ensure we live and remain guided by the documents.