The year 2021 started with the return of 73 students sponsored by the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and 25 students sponsored by the National Skills Fund (NSF) respectively. The two groups are training off site and continued with contact sessions at Welverdiend Community Venue and Manyeleti Nature Reserve. The groups are busy with the Resource Guardianship Level 2 qualifications and scheduled to complete their training at different times in the year. They were joined by the Natural Resource Management, Terrestrial, Level 5 group training on site at the College.
Resource Guardianship Level 2 provides an entry level conservation qualification that later feeds into the Management level 5 training. The groups are first provided with a contact session at the College or an appropriate training venue. The contact sessions comprise lectures, formative and summative assessments following an applied learning strategy before learners are work placed for experiential learning at selected Nature Reserves.
Out of the 73 DALRRD sponsored learners, 22 youth from the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) in the North West province were placed at Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) during the first quarter of 2021. The remaining 51 NARYSEC youth will be work-placed in the second quarter of the year after they complete their contact session. The NSF sponsored Level 2 group will be placed with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA). The Department expects to complete the level 2 training by September 2021.
The level 5 management training is tailor made for supervisor level jobs in the conservation sector. Students enrolled at this level in 2021 come from SANParks, MTPA, LEDET, private organisations like WITS Rural, Umgano Forestry, and includes SADC conservation based organisations like African Parks and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. Students/Applicants from Mozambique and Zambia, whose arrival was delayed due to borders being closed due to Covid-19, are yet to arrive but time will be made in order for them to catch up.
A record 28 students for one class have been registered for the Natural Resource Management qualification this year.
Below is a visual of how the level 5 class looks after registering a lot of students. It prompted the Department to change the class desks from the traditional double executive desks to the usual matric size back to school desks so that Covid regulations are adhered to in an attempt to comply with regulations to help curb the spread of Covid-19.