ABET Improves Lives In South Africa Although it is clear that access to basic education and training for adults should be free and readily available, its history in our country has only recently begun to reflect this philosophy. For the eight million or so adults that, even today, are still unable to read or write, there was once no sign of a solution. Despite the efforts of many in lobbying the government to provide such facilities most efforts to remedy the problem were informal and abortive. Today ABET courses in South Africa are finally serving to close this serious gap in our education system and changing the lives of many in the process. Initiatives to provide basic education for adults began back in the early 30’s with schools operated by missions and churches but it took almost another 50 years before a few English speaking universities began addressing the literacy problem more formally and a further 5 before, following the examples of other countries but without government funding, the first ABET courses were launched in South Africa. The first role of Adult Basic Education and Training, to use its full title, was to establish classes in literacy – the basic starting point for all adult learning. Although, the scope of courses operating under this scheme today has grown considerably, the efforts to eradicate adult illiteracy remain ongoing and, together with courses that have been designed to introduce previously disadvantaged adults to the fundamental concepts of maths, form the core of all ABET learning in South Africa. Now Subsidised Similar schemes overseas, on which local initiatives were based, were largely designed to meet only the basic education needs of adults and did not include any form of vocational training. This explains their use of the shorter 3-letter acronym, ABE. It was essentially the introduction of the training component in compliance with government recommendations that earned the financial support of the state together with that of the business sector and various NGOs and launched ABET in South Africa. These courses are not open to applications from the general public but only from companies. Firms may undertake to offer various training courses in-house or, instead, to use the services of a third party to deliver the content on their behalf. In both cases, the training provider must have a recognized accreditation in order for participating companies to qualify for subsidies to defray training costs. A number of bodies known as SETA’s were established to disburse subsidies and provide oversight of ABET courses in South Africa. Accreditation Is Key For any form of adult education or training to have maximum value it should meet the needs of some given NQF (National Qualification Framework) level that equips the learner to study further. Before sponsoring employees or other communities in need, it is vital to check that the service provider is accredited to deliver the content to the required NQF level. Many providers still operate without accreditation and are not subsidized while others may be limited to training facilitators. Quality service providers such as Triple E Training are registered with Umalusi, the recognised overall accreditation body for those conforming to the requirements of this type of education and training. Play safe! Contact us about ABET courses in South Africa from an established and leading, accredited provider.