n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Evaluating the role of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), in terms of fulfilling the need for literacy in English, in the private sector

Volume 36, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0259-9570


Although literacy efforts in South Africa were standardised and legitimised by the establishment of the National Qualifications Framework in 1995, Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programmes are dwindling in numbers. Firstly, this paper seeks to position ABET within the National Qualifications Framework in a discussion of the principles of the NQF and the correlation between ABET and formal education. The way in which language is addressed in ABET is evaluated in terms of the unit standards which have been written for language and communication and the assessment thereof. Secondly, ABET in the private sector is discussed and its functioning according to the principles of the NQF is evaluated. The reasons why it is not flourishing in the corporate sector are investigated, as are the integration of education and training in Adult Basic Education. The opinion is expressed in this article that the success of ABET programmes or their failure to bridge the divide between education and training will determine how ABET is valued by industry. A case study from the private sector forms the basis for the discussion in the second part of this paper. Finally, recommendations are made for an alternative vocational ABET route which will enable ABET programmes to meet NQF requirements and the needs of industry for literacy in English.

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