Integrating work and study
To balance working and learning can be quite a challenge. Employers should look at strategies to help adult learners perform better.
According to Wesley Longueira, a global business development consultant at IRCA Global, the broader South African education system is faced with enormous challenges. “Everyone has an opinion on the matter, mostly dependent on their experience in relation to the education system. Not many of us are able to come up with sustainable solutions to a legacy of an underperforming system. However, we all agree that it is time for action.
“The goals we have set for ourselves in terms of skills development, the national growth path, education and ultimately the performance of our economy demands that we do more and talk less,” he says. The recent recession has shaken us to our core, leaving us with precious little resources that cannot be misused on futile efforts. As a nation, we know what we need, but don’t know how to get there. Consequently, we should focus wholly and solely on our goals and then do what it takes to get us there. Everything should be geared towards that. No fancy policies, no promises of delivery, just straight forward clear and decisive action.”
In the field of education, South Africa has seen change after change with no hope or sign of improvement.
“We are constantly under the ethos of policy makers who decide to revolutionise instead of evolutionise our education system. Evolving would mean to apply the idea of the survival of the fittest. Those things that work best should be kept and improved and the things that do not work should be relinquished.”
But where does this leave the working learner?
“For many, the thought of balancing work and adult life is a tremendous, but not impossible, challenge,” says Longueira. “Assistance in various forms has to be given to achieve the collective goal of learning. Employers should look at strategies that encourage, assist, incentivise and ultimately put people in a position to perform better. Adult learners should honour this investment by reinvesting themselves back into the workplace by applying what they have learned, sharing the knowledge and encouraging a culture of learning.
“It is time for action, not just from those who govern us, but also from those who are governed,” he says.
IRCA Global is a leading risk management solutions provider in the areas of safety, health, environment and quality. It assesses, advises and assists clients to address the avoidance of loss in a cost-effective and practical manner through high-quality systems, products and services. IRCA has footprints in various countries around the world where it has assisted hundreds of organisations to reduce operational risk exposure.