Education department vows to pay teaching bursaries by month-end

Funza Lushaka is a full-cost‚ multi-year bursary scheme the Department of Basic Education introduced in 2007 to attract new matrics to enrol for …

Funza Lushaka is a full-cost‚ multi-year bursary scheme the Department of Basic Education introduced in 2007 to attract new matrics to enrol for teaching studies. South Africa is facing a dearth of young teachers in rural schools.

Over 500 Unisa students approved for Funza Lushaka‚ the state bursary programme for teaching studies‚ are yet to receive their allowances‚ months after their academic year started.

These are allowances for textbooks‚ accommodation and food. Students have complained that the delay in releasing the funds was hurting their studies and preparations for the upcoming semester examinations.

“How am I expected to study properly without textbooks? Administration of Funza at Unisa needs to improve‚” a student‚ who asked not to be named for possible retribution‚ told Sowetan.

Veronica McKay‚ dean of the College of Education at Unisa‚ said 519 students at the school have been approved for Funza Lushaka.

She said their tuition fees have been paid‚ and added the issue of allowances would be sorted out by the Department of Basic Education‚ custodians of the bursary scheme.

“We are fully committed to ensuring that students have a positive learning experience and that they are supported – especially those students who come from disadvantaged circumstances‚” McKay said.

Funza Lushaka is a full-cost‚ multi-year bursary scheme the Department of Basic Education introduced in 2007 to attract new matrics to enrol for teaching studies. South Africa is facing a dearth of young teachers in rural schools.

Elijah Mhlanga‚ spokesman of the department‚ said students should receive their allowances before end of April. – TMG Digital/Sowetan