ONE YEARS’ WORTH OF WORK AND INTEGRATED LEARNING HAS YIELDED GREAT FRUITS FOR STUDENTS
As the Partnership and Learnership Unit (PLU) prepares to recruit for their new programmes, they have to say goodbye to the students who have been part of their Plant and Animal Production qualification for the past year.
THE AGRICULTURAL LEARNERSHIP AND HOW IT WORKS:
The learnership program is meant to prepare those who have an affinity for the agricultural arts for the process of having and managing their own farms. It included both theory and practical components. The students were required to attend classes for six months, obtaining theoretical knowledge regarding planting crops and breeding livestock.
In the plant production module, students were familiarized with soil preparation, planting the crops by upturning the soil, adding fertilizer, planting seeds, and watering daily. They start harvesting the crops within two months of planting and sell the harvest to the local school feeding scheme and the community. In the animal production module, students were taught how to grow and breed broilers, how to feed, and how to regulate food and water appropriately. Broilers are little chickens that take about 7 – 8 weeks to grow into full chickens ready for human consumption. When the chickens turn eight weeks old, they are sold to community members for a small profit of R90 per chicken. Upon completion of the learnership, the students receive a Level 3 certificate from Lovedale TVET College that is recognized on the National Qualification Framework (NQF). PLU has sites in various areas around King William's Town, including Mzintshana, Ndevana, Kieskammahoek, and Sompondo in Hogsback.
THE PARTNERSHIP AND LINKAGES (PLU) UNIT AND ITS ROLE:
The Partnerships and Linkages Unit (PLU) is an active skills development unit operating at Lovedale TVET College, an institution of higher learning. The unit works hand in hand with the National Skills Fund and a SETA (who accredits the qualification) to bring these learnership opportunities to the communities around municipalities where the college operates. To successfully offer a learnership, a college (the facilitator), a funder (for stipends), and a SETA (course accreditor) are required. The learnership programme provides students with a chance to earn a stipend while attending classes and gaining practical experience in the workplace. The PLU was established in 2011 and has already offered 22 different learnership opportunities. So far, the programme has successfully enrolled over 3000 learners from various areas within the Eastern Cape.
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