Workers’ College Commitment to Students

Workers College is dedicated to deliver and support quality education and training for trade unions and civic organisations through the development and implementation of accredited education within the National Qualifications Framework as per the standards and practices of the South African Qualifications Authority, the Skills Development Act and ancillary legislation.

Workers College is committed to provide service excellence in education for the South African labour movement by providing our students with credible, relevant, recognised quality education, aimed at equipping students with education and skills to meet the challenges and demands they may encounter through their participation in furthering the working class agenda.

Workers College will promote a culture of learning, teaching and service. Our organisation will strive to empower trade unionists to effectively utilize the opportunities presented by the skills structures and ensure that all learning activities are working class orientated.

The relationship between facilitator and student should be founded on mutual respect and understanding, together with shared dedication to the educational process.

All students enrolled at the College shall be regarded as comrades.

Students should uphold the rights of others to intellectual property.

Students Rights

All students shall have the right to:

a classroom environment that is free from safety and security hazards;

pursue their education without disruption or interference and to expect enforcement of norms for classroom behaviour that prevents disruption of the teaching or learning process;

learn in a classroom environment in which diversity is respected;

protection against improper disclosure of information concerning academic performance and personal characteristics such as values, beliefs, organisational affiliations, and health;

access all facilities that will aid their learning process in the College;

fair hearings and appeals concerning all academic issues;

a lecturer who has the necessary skills in order to uphold the highest standards in all faculties of the College;

be treated with the respect that should be afforded to them when dealing with the administrative branch of the College; and To an environment conducive to adding to the learning process.

Class and Student Representatives

In order to ensure student rights are protected and student have agency within the organisation all student class bodies shall have the right to be represented by their peers.

This is to assist and ensure open and cooperative relationships at the level of teaching, assessment and general governance.

A Student representatives committee formed by class representatives represent general student interests and class representatives represent more specific calls issues

Workers’ College Class Representative Elections

The electoral process is to be conducted by the Programme Coordinator or his/her nominee. Any College student is eligible to run as a Class Representative. The electoral process shall run as follows:

  • The floor shall be opened for nominations;
  • a nominee shall either accept or deny the nomination;
  • The nominees are to leave the room while the class casts their votes by a show of hands.
  • A Class Representative’s tenure is for the period an academic year.
  • The College shall allow students a period of a week after the elections in which to lodge any complaints with regards to any procedural irregularities pertaining to the elections.
  • In the event of a vacancy the College shall facilitate a by-election until the vacancy is filled.

Roles, Powers and Duties of a Class Representative

A Class Representative must be afforded the respect and value which comes from being a democratically elected representative.

Class Representatives must:

facilitate the efficient communication of their respective classes concerns to the facilitator;

actively participate in dispute resolutions between their class and the College;

effectively communicate, to their class, any information from the general student representatives as directed by the College;

meet with their current facilitator regularly to maintain lines of communication and to convey any class related issues or concerns;

patiently and equitably listen to any complaints or concerns relayed to them by their class;

serve as an first-class role model for their fellow  classmates and thus must uphold the highest level of studiousness and behaviour; and

Follow all reasonable directives promulgated by the College

Class Representatives may:

put forward suggestions as to the conduct and structure of their sessions and courses;

submit class objections, complaints and suggestions regarding academic resource material; and

Call a meeting of their classmates to facilitate discussion regarding class, course or academic matters.

Meet together and form a class representatives committee to discuss issues of general relevance to learners of the College.

Meet with Workers’ College governance and management to discuss issues of general relevance and or concern to learners.

Learner Complaints Procedure

Step 1

If you have a complaint, try and resolve it directly with a relevant member of staff involving the class representative if you feel this is necessary.

Step 2

If the complaint is not resolved at Step 1, please inform a senior manager immediately responsible for the relevant academic area. This is normally the Head of Education.

They will deal with your complaint there and then if they can.

Step 3

If they cannot deal with your complaint, please complete a formal complaint form and send it to the education co-ordinator, with a copy to the Director. Please ensure that the form is completed correctly and provide all relevant information; if you need help completing the form you should consult a relevant staff member and or ask the class representative for assistance.

The education co-ordinator will normally provide an initial written response to your complaint within 14 days of receipt. This response may answer your complaint, or it may indicate that a more detailed response will follow (within a specified time). All such responses should be copied to the Director.

Step 4

If you are not satisfied with the final response from the training co-ordinator, you may write to the director, requesting that the matter be revisited. You should indicate clearly the reasons for your dissatisfaction, and may be asked to provide further information or evidence.

The director will review your complaint, and the steps taken to resolve it, and may invite you to submit further information in writing or to attend a meeting, before making a final decision.

That decision, and the reasons for it, will be communicated to you in writing.

Notes: You are encouraged to seek the support and advice of the student representative in your class when dealing with issues, particularly past stage 1