Skills training through hands-on practical activities in civil technology – a case study of three technical schools in South Africa
Maeko, Mogale S A
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Skills training for Civil Technology learners in South African schools, is an aspect entrenched in the Civil Technology policy document in order to produce skilled personnel for a sustainable economy. Practical activities through the Practical Assessment Task (PAT) are national requirements for all practical-based subjects from grades 10–12 in South African schools. The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of Civil Technology practical activities in three South African schools in the Eastern Cape Province. Purposive sampling was used to identify 41 learners and 3 teachers to participate in the study. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and observation as data collection methods were instruments used to collect data. The study has found that learners exit grade 12 without basic practical hands-on skills. Civil Technology practical activities were found to be inadequately offered in the three schools investigated. Educators should be well-trained by higher education institutions (HEIs) to conduct practical activities with learners so that these learners are equipped with marketable skills in order to contribute to a sustainable economy after grade 12. Technology teacher education and training should include regular exposure and visits to relevant industries in order for teachers to keep abreast with the latest technological developments. The supply of equipment to schools should be coupled with routine maintenance of the equipment.