A comparative study of the development of vocational education in South Africa and China between 1948 and 1993
This study has compared and investigated the historical evolution and development of public vocational education in South Africa and China, between 1948 and 1994. The purpose of the study has been to understand and trace the relation between the internal and external socio-economic and educational factors and determine how these impacted on the development of vocational education in both countries. The main focus was on the public senior secondary-level vocational educational systems in South Africa and China, referred to as technical colleges and skilled workers schools, respectively. In setting up the study, it discovered that in the period preceding 1948 in South Africa and 1949 in China, that while there were multi-track systems in both countries, the roles and functions were different. Following this, the thesis took as the starting point two key periods, namely, 1948/9 and 1978. While 1948/1949 marked the establishment of centralised political adminstrations and nation-state processes; the year 1978 marked the start of economic liberalisation. In both instances, the thesis addressed the question how these two powers made meaning in terms of the nature of vocational education. In this respect, it investigated the ways in which the practices that unfolded were connected to the broader political economic forces in both countries. It drew mainly on primary, secondary and tertiary documentary sources to build a broad historical descriptive narrative of vocational education during this period.