Developing a WIL curriculum for post-school lecturer qualifications
The South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) published two policies in 2013 and 2015 respectively, on professional qualifications for lecturers at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and at Adult and Community Education and Training (ACET) colleges. These policy frameworks require lecturers in TVET and ACET to complete work-integrated learning (WIL) in two settings: teaching (eg in classrooms, laboratories, workshops) and industry-based (eg factory, work sites, offices). Whereas the notion of industry and specialised workplace WIL for TVET and ACET lecturers was welcomed in certain circles, its inclusion in the ACET policy and the associated qualifications were not uniformly welcomed. Antagonism emerged primarily from some universities planning to offer ACET lecturer qualifications, ranging from insecurity about matters related to its implementation to outright rejection. This article draws on the theory of critical discourse analysis (CDA), reflecting on and debating the challenges that emerged during the development of the national curriculum frameworks for industry and the specialised workplace-based WIL component of the qualifications. Three discourses emerged: the first relates to a conflict between adult and community education with the discourse on industry-based WIL; a second relates to differences of opinion about what constitutes appropriate specialised workplace-based WIL for trainee ACET lecturers; and the third relates to the nature of ACET. It is argued that it differs from other forms of education and should not be subordinated to the ‘dictates of the state and capital’.