The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme continues to play a significant role in strengthening the teaching profession across the country. Government has indeed contributed enormously in sustaining this bursary for it to benefit the recipients thereof. During Minister Motshekga’s Budget Vote Speech it was announced that an amount of R991,084,000.00 was allocated for the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme in the 2015/2016 Financial Year.
The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes the recruitment of students to study teaching with the ultimate goal of promoting teaching in public schools as a profession. Although the Bursary Programme cannot fund all new student teacher candidates, it does fund 25% of new student teachers registered at public Higher Education Institutions. This means that approximately 13,500 bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a teaching qualification in an area of national priority. Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number years for they received the bursary.
Some bursary recipients have shared their academic experiences with the DBE:
Marisa Kruger, 2nd year student: “My dream is for every child in this country to have a bright future. It is our role as teachers to ensure that all South African children succeed academically. I have a passion for kids and love my study field very much. Thanks to the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme I can study and finish my degree.
I see myself as a committed teacher - loving my work and giving my best. I see myself at a public school working very hard as a teacher. I chose Foundation Phase because it will provide me with an opportunity to teach kids how to read and write as this is a vital skill every child needs to become successful. If you want to be a teacher, do it with all your heart and soul. Do it for the kids, work hard and love your job because that is what teaching is about.”
Pruvia Motsepa, 3rd year student: “I chose teaching as a career because I wanted to deliver quality education to future learners. I want to be a mother and a role model to my learners. I believe teaching is the best career choice because it offers job security and good working hours. Kids learn while having fun in the Foundation Phase. Funza Lushaka has paid all my fees and made my years of being a student teacher stress free. Funza Lushaka has become my “parent” and a life saver that took care of me from the word-go as I am from the rural areas. As my mother is unemployed, funding was a big concern for me and I was very fortunate to have been awarded this bursary.
I see myself being a Foundation Phase coordinator in one of the teaching districts around South Africa. I am an Early Childhood and Foundation Phase student teacher specialising in the Sepedi language. I enjoy working with children; I want to be a role model to my future learners. I enjoy teaching in this phase because it offers a lot of room for creativity. It is very nice to see a learner growing and doing all the things you have taught them. My message is simple: Teaching is fun. People should stop taking the teaching profession for granted because it shapes us to be better people. Teaching gives one the opportunity to develop the potential in others. Let’s work together to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and to have better and successful future citizens.”
Mpumelelo Ngubane, 4th year student: “I chose teaching because I like to make a difference in the South African communities we serve - building the nation and making a difference in the lives of others. Funza Lushaka plays a huge role in my studies as I couldn’t afford to pay my fees, but now they made my life easier. This also encouraged me to push my studies to maintain the bursary.
I will still be serving my community; contributing to the future of the next generation. I chose Maths, Technology, Natural Sciences and English as they are also national priority areas. Technology, Mathematics and Science play a very important role in society. For me English is the medium of global communication and an important subject.”
Daniel Sipho Baloyi, 2nd year student: “I would like to see myself assisting others with their personal development and to better the education system of this country. The bursary helped me financially because I would not have been able to pursue my dreams of becoming a teacher without it, as I come from a disadvantaged background. The bursary paid for my tuition fees and for the materials I will require to complete the degree.
I chose Mathematics and Electrical Technology because I have realised that many learners struggle with these areas. My goal is to assist and to help them to comprehend these priority areas to further their studies. I will tell them that teaching is the mother of all professions. I will also advise learners to pursue a career in teaching if they want to see their country developing academically because teachers are in demand in South Africa.”
Rachel Ngwenyama, 3rd year student: “I love teaching children. I saw teaching as a calling because I believe that I have the potential to become a good teacher. I love sharing and educating children. Funza Lushaka plays an important role in my studies because I do now not owe tuition fees to my university. I would like to be one of the best teachers in the rural areas. I see myself empowering children from different family backgrounds.
I chose Languages and the Foundation Phase because teaching in my mother tongue will enable me to teach anywhere the Department chooses to place me. Everything is possible if you believe in yourself. Don’t let your background impede your progress; work hard and be dedicated and committed to your school work. Hard work pays off.”
Edward Mduduzi Motau, 3rd year student: “I chose teaching because I loved learning, so I turned the love of learning into the love of teaching. I enjoy sharing information, which will prove useful for learners. The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme pays my study fees and helps me to buy my study materials. I’ll be offering my services to the national priority indicated as soon as I complete my Bachelor of Education (B. Ed Honours).
The message that I would like to convey to the learners out there who would like to pursue a career in the teaching profession is that, if you want to become a teacher, you must do your work despite difficulties or be willing to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed. You have to have patience and tolerance when you are dealing with kids. Teaching is not a simple job and teaching should be a calling, like it was for me.”
Ayanda Nxumalo, 4th year student: “I’ve chosen teaching as a career because of the passion that I have for educating, equipping, and moulding a learner to attain the profession of his / her interest. This bursary has helped me in completing my course successfully, and most importantly, in covering all my varsity fees. It has also helped to pay for my meals during the period of my course, which I will be completing this year.
I would also like to complete my Honours and my Masters within the field of education. I see myself as an upcoming HOD in my specialisation area, EMS. I am ambitious to breach the gap that our South African schools have when it comes to subjects such as Accounting. I also chose Computer Application Technology to teach learners basic computer skills to prepare them for the world of technology. I would like to tell learners out there that the education field is about a love and passion to teach, as developed through commitment and training. It is also about enriching the minds of young ones for the bright future ahead of them.”