Free State Business 2021

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Education and training Coding and AI are in the curriculum. Image: UFS

Sector Insight Flavius Mareka TVET College is a Centre of Specialisation for two trades.


national policy of promoting training in critical trades has been adopted. Two of the three campuses of Flavius Mareka TVET College are designated Centres of Specialisation, for electrical work at Sasolburg and plumbing at Kroonstad. The Mphohadi campus of the college is also in Kroonstad. The Free State has about 14 000 students at four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, taught by 400 lecturers. All of the colleges have multiple sites. Maluti TVET College in Phuthaditjhaba, for example, offers classes at eight sites. Motheo TVET College operates in Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu, while Goldfields TVET College is headquartered in Welkom with some classes offered in Thabong and a satellite campus at Virginia (Meloding). In early 2020 the completion of the building of three new schools was announced by the Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela. A further six new schools will be built in the 2020/21 financial year. Coding has been introduced at some schools and the first winner of the Robotic League was Albert Moroka High School in Thaba Nchu. Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) handed over its 16th sponsored ICT and Science laboratory in 2020 to Akademia High School, Brandfort. The donation forms part of a five-year “Back to School” CSI initiative which has seen ATNS sponsor laboratories across the country to schools from impoverished communities. The Free State Provincial Government is implementing South Africa’s largest global skills development programme in support of the National Development Plan (NDP). The free overseas training programme entails about 905 students studying in leading universities in China, India, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Turkey and Belarus.

Online Resources Central University of Technology: Flavius Mareka TVET College: Free State Department of Education: University of the Free State:



Fields of study range from engineering to computer science, medicine and pharmacy. Of the 175 young people who were awarded overseas bursaries in the Department of Agriculture, 46 have graduated and were placed in the department and some have been employed in agro-businesses. The University of the Free State has 158 researchers rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF), two A-rated scientists and five tier-one SARChi research chairs. The university has 18 international research partnerships and produces an average of 240 postgraduate research degrees every year. The Central University of Technology (CUT ) has four faculties: Engineering, Built Environment and Information and Technology, Health and E n v i ro n m e n t a l S c i e n c e s, Humanities and Management Sciences. Researchers at units such as the Centre for Community, Environmental and Industrial Development tackle important regional issues. The CUT has started training programmes in artificial intelligence, 3D cloud computing and data screening. ■