New college opens in Westonaria

'We have brought in education at the doorstep of Westonaria' – Executive Mayor.

“As government, we are elated that finally we have an FET College in our area and we have brought in education at the doorstep of Westonaria.”

These are some of the words from Executive Mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi following the establishment of the new Westcol College in the area.

Against the backdrop of scepticism about the viability of a tertiary or FET institution in the area, students and staff at the college this week said it is an essential local option for school leavers who could not pursue their studies for some reasons.

Fatima Cumbe, a 19-year-old from Bekkersdal, studying N1 Mechanical Engineering said, “I am so happy about the new college”.

Somelela Mauzi, a 20-year-old student at the college believes the institute will benefit youth in the area who could not finish their matric.

This intervention follows a series of meetings between the Westonaria Local Municipality; Westcol and the Department of Education held since last year, which led to the establishment of Westcol College to address the challenges of skills shortage and low level of literacy in the area.

According to Kgabane Madiehe, Assistant Manager for Communications, Customer Relations and Marketing for the Westonaria Local Municipality, “Only 23 per cent of the population has completed grade 12 and the majority of the people have only obtained some secondary level of education which is likely to impact negatively on the ability to find employment. The newly formed Westcol College is expected to draw students from other neighbouring areas like Randfontein, Merafong and Soweto.”

Madiehe also said that the Westonaria Municipality has offered the Sports Complex in Botha Avenue as a temporary venue for the college and the council has also put aside land for the construction of a college.

The satellite will offer programs such as National Certificate Vocational Level (NCVL) three and four. Other programs such as Financial Management, Administration and Agricultural sciences will be added in a near future. At the moment the college has close to 200 students but the number is expected to increase yearly as more courses are added.

“Whilst these interventions are government-driven, they are also responding directly to the specific needs that were raised by the community itself. In the last few months we had many critical meetings with the community, and this college is the culmination of these intensive engagements. In our previous meetings with the community, we promised to come back with a tangible intervention,” Tundzi added.

• Details: To enrol contact Westcol 011 693 3608 or 9.

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