Community service punted for students

2012-06-29 14:15

Cape Town - Engineering graduates in South Africa may have to start doing community service if the ANC gets its way.

The ANC delegates at the party's policy conference in Midrand debated the matter and the party will vote on the issue in December at the ANC's national conference.

Dr Blade Nzimande, minister of higher education, says the ANC has decided to look seriously at compulsory community service by all graduates other than in the medical professions.

Nzimande says the community service may help graduates who cannot get jobs, to gain neccessary experience before enteriung the formal jobs sector.

"We think we'll start in some place like engineering and gradually move to other areas to eventually inlclude all graduates," Nzimande told the media this morning.

"We have not looked at the length of the community service. If it's 1 year or two years. We do have a report on the matter, but we have not done enough work. We've sent them to do more work to get a better understanding. The indications are however, that the community service will certainly not be shorter than 1 year," said Nzimande.

He says the plan is the graduates would be employe by government institutions.

  • christopher.d.cecchini - 2012-06-29 14:36

    But why? How can a country that is so short of engineers need a program to ensure that engineering graduates have a job when they leave university?

      Stephen Redford - 2012-06-29 14:38

      Government doesn't want to compete with industry for the graduates.

      John - 2012-06-30 18:00

      All I know is, they can go f...k themselves. Soon as I get my chem' eng' degree, I can get my license anywhere else. There IS a shortage. Another thing is, they don't pay for my studies, I am paying with after tax money - they got their pound of flesh from me so they can go f...k themselves twice! Buddies studying in Chile that had the governent pay their studies are enticed to do community work for the same number of years as they studied - that's fair, but this government did NOTHING for me.

  • Stephen Redford - 2012-06-29 14:37

    Good idea... Because engineers need more reasons to leave as soon as they qualify, and we have way too many engineers anyway...

      Silindile Mabaso - 2012-06-29 15:59

      I know in the medical profession you cannot go out and start your own practice or work in the private sector until you completed 4 years of internship and comm serv... might be the same for engineers

      stephen.redford.16 - 2012-06-29 16:07

      I think my sarcasm is being missed

      John - 2012-06-30 18:02

      Silindile must be an engineer! A sense of humour is the first thing to go! Lol !

      Silindile Mabaso - 2012-07-03 23:40

      I didnt miss your sarcasm... it appears you missed my point though, which was, you CANNOT qualify as a doctor after graduation without first completing two years of comm serv. Therefore those engineers who graduate in SA probably would not be able to qualify, and most likely would not be able to leave the country to go work overseas, not as engineers anyway. Fool.

  • Hermann - 2012-06-29 14:42

    Ho, ho - not Christmas yet, but let us wait and see how many graduates can put their qualification to practical effective and quality use.

  • appietrader - 2012-06-29 14:43

    Meaning the engineering degree not worth the paper it's written on. What is the pass rat % ...less than 30%??? Same as the matric certificate. Need less than 30% to pass.

  • sbu.mahwai - 2012-06-29 14:47

    I guess this guys just wake up in the morning and say to each other - how are we gonna screw up today

  • bradley.bock - 2012-06-29 15:01

    I think its a good idea. From what I can tell its worked pretty well in the medical profession, giving our doctors some serious practical experience. Also, it's part of nation building, which is everyone's problem, not just the governments.

      stephen.redford.16 - 2012-06-29 16:04

      Could you provide some reference for your view that it has worked well for the medical profession ? I agree with your comment on nation building, but disagree that this is the way to do it. If government wants engineers they could provide bursaries and jobs... Or are government bursaries and jobs so unattractive that nobody wants them ? This is just a red herring. The REAL issue is that to get an engineer you need matriculants with Maths and Science - and not just passes, but quality passes. The education system simply doesn't provide enough of them. Rather than "nation build" by fixing the system our government chooses the easy path - legislation. Finally, many engineers are supported by bursaries from industry. I wonder if industry will be as keen to provide those bursaries if it has to wait between 5 and 6 years for someone to land on the ground who may have to UNLEARN what they have "learned" from government.

      christopher.d.cecchini - 2012-06-29 22:12

      The implementation of this idea in the country we live in with the population's views as they are all point towards a government that doesn't have a clue how to progress. 2 steps forward, 1 step to the left, 3 steps right and finally 5 steps back >.> One of the reasons Dr Nzimande stated for wanting compulsory "internship" was to get young people off the streets and give them something to do. How many tertiary graduates do you see loitering around causing mischief? The problem is not at tertiary level. It is at primary and high school level as redford.16 points out. The government wants a quick fix and quick fixes do not work!

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-30 19:23

      Would you like your daughter to go and work in Soweto?

  • africanwolf - 2012-06-29 15:28

    I suggest a one year national military service instead there will be no refugees, and illegal immigrants = less crime because the soldiers will patrol the borders and the streets

  • hein.bokelmann - 2012-06-29 15:40

    Maybe the journalist should have training before enteriung the formal jobs sector.

  • - 2012-06-29 16:13

    community service is workin quite well in a medical professions,bt de problem is dat what if de graudate dnt wanna work in deep rural Northern Cape where de need is?in a medical field its an act of parliment by rest assured dat those dat are havin connections political and legal they get away with murder becus they feel dat rural areas are nt good fo them so they folk to urban areas,again our govt doesn't take dis matter crusly fo example municipalities are nt employin environmentalist so most of them are sittin at home wait fo their turn and mind u they can't b employed before doing community services,so govt must talk to its Self and do a proper skills audit before engagin in dis matter.

  • olwethu.tuta - 2012-06-29 16:16

    They better come with a solid plan because Environmental Health students struggle to get placed for comm serv. After comm serv the local and provincial government still don't have jobs for them.

  • Bruce Bradford - 2012-06-30 13:53

    I can't think of a more efficient way to get our bright young minds to graduate overseas instead. A person has the right to sell his labour wherever he wants. If the govt wants to enter the labour market they should do so on the same basis as other employers.

  • Tommo - 2012-07-01 01:45

    This is going to up the rate of the brain drain for sure. And while im at it, why not community service for all the unemployed youth??? And finally, also community service for all newly elected MPs. To be done in their own constituencies. Giving them å feel how their politics are working...

  • Machate Inn - 2012-07-01 10:03

    good idea, but it should be made optional for those who might not have jobs on completion of their studies, unlike with the current state of health professionals. environmental health graduates are staying at home waiting for the department of health to place them for community services, more than two years after their completed their studies, they are not allowed to practice and government fails to give them the so called compulsory community services.

  • francoisflippie.vanzyl - 2012-07-01 10:24

    If government has PAID for the engineering graduate's education, then surely thos graduates should 'repay' the debt to the government by working for the government for a year or two... our country needs engineering expertise to ensure proper infrastructure development. As a country we need to move forward if we are to compete against the rest of the world. We have to start somewhere to get our economy to grow faster & this sounds like a good start.

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