Funza Lushaka visits Butterworth Campus
Walter Sisulu University’s Ibika Campus was recently visited by Dr John Maluleke of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Funza Lushaka Bursary’s National Office.
The purpose of the visit was to orientate first time recipients of the bursary and also to explain the criterion for awarding and placement of final year education students.
Due to the high number of students under the bursary fund, there had to be two sessions of intense questioning and explanation to students by the education body. First to be addressed were education seniors. The final year students had questions on the release of funding and the inability of the system to meet student needs in due time, leading to some students destitute for food and basic necessities, which the fund covers.
Although seemingly difficult to answer, the DBE’s Fundza Lushaka team did explain the pressure it is under but promised students that they are working towards fixing these issues. Moving forward, the department assured and also explained how the students will be placed across the country to teach pupils and how they mostly target placement in rural and disadvantaged communities.
“The DBE established the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme to attract gifted, motivated, able and committed youth into teaching and also to provide bursaries to enable selected youth to qualify as teachers in priority areas of learning”, said Maluleke.
During the second session, first time entering students were orientated into how the bursary works and what is expected from both sides. Hailing from Kwa Zulu-Natal, first year student Nompilo Khumalo said she got a clearer picture of how the funding works and that she hopes ‘it will be a good relationship between the funding and us students because we highly depend on it for our studies and they also depend on us to acquire the right knowledge to teach.”
The need to always excel above the rest was highly placed to the students and how the funding does not consider non-performing students.
“If a qualification or the mandatory teaching service period is not completed the bursary will be converted into a loan which has to be repaid”, added Maluleke as he explained the ins and outs of the bursary.
The students listened with enthusiasm, asking questions and sharing comments. “It was a privilege for us as students of Walter Sisulu University to be orientated by Dr Maluleke from national office because all the past years we knew nothing about what the bursary is all about and what it can offer to those who are funded by it”, said Yakela Vava, BEd final year student.
During this month’s graduation ceremony, a total of 227 students within the Department of Education graduated at the university’s Ibika Campus alone.