The office of the DVC: Research Innovation and Engagement at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) hosted a successful DUT Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) engagement workshop, themed: Understanding the current status and the causes of gender disparities in STEM-related TVET on Monday, 25 November 2019. The workshop was held at the Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology [IWWT]’s boardroom, in Steve Biko campus.
The workshop looked at the participation and performance of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and their transition to STEM-related occupation, focusing on factors that influence the participation, achievement and transition of girls and women and the major challenges faced in the efforts to promote girls and women’s participation and achievements in STEM-related fields. The workshop was attended by officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET] and management staff from various public and private TVET Colleges in the KZN province.
Deputy Director at the DHET, Ms. Nozipho Khumalo shared statistics on Post-School Education and Training in South Africa’s which indicated that more females are enrolled in TVET Colleges compared to males but there is a higher percentage of males in STEM qualifications as compared to females.
She added that, the key to resolving South Africa’s critical skills shortages is to increase the number of women educated and employed in science, technology, engineering and maths as when encouraging young women into STEM education and training would not only reduce the overall shortage of scarce and critical skills.
She further shared DHET proposed activities which will contribute towards getting more girls and women involved I STEM-related occupations.
“We want to host career days focusing on STEM in Grade 4-7, STEM Career Guidance Campaigns by KHETHA, DBE to take more girls to Science Expos, take a girl child to work, inventions and innovation programmes and colleges to enrol and retain more female students receive incentives” said Ms. Khumalo.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo spoke on DUT, which is part of the UNEVOC network and a UNEVOC Center, that is collaborating with the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technology and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). She highlighted the key responsibilities of UNEVOC Centres and encouraged the TVETs present to join the network.
“The UNESCO-UNEVOC acts as part of the United Nations mandate to promote peace, justice, equity, poverty alleviation and greater social cohesion. Currently, UNESCO is looking at the issue of under-representation of women in STEM-related occupations as these positions in the labour market are important,” she said.
She added that the workshop aims to achieve something tangible not just for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN ) but nationally in collaboration with DHET, the TVETs represented and all key stakeholders involved in vocational skills training. A DUT TVET UNESCO UNIVOC Forum was set up which comprised of the representatives from TVET Colleges, DUT and the DHET.
The workshop ended with a tour of the DUT’S Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology facility.
Pictured: Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Director at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Nozipho Khumalo, DUT staff and various TVET college staff.