Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme For Trainee Teachers


Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme 2015

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme for basic teacher education is inviting bursary applications for 2015. These opened on 1st October and will close on 9th January, 2015.

The Department of Basic Education has announced that there will be about 3,500 new bursaries available next year. However the Department has advised that people applying to the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme for trainee teachers should also pursue other funding offers, because they cannot guarantee that every application will be successful. As they say, there are so many students who need financial assistance, it is important that applicants don’t pin their hopes on any single option.

About the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme

09-FunzaLushaka-logoThis is a programme that spans several years, allowing successful applicants to complete a full teaching qualification. Once bursary recipients have completed the course and obtained their teacher’s qualification, they will be expected to teach at a Government (public) school for as many years as the qualification took to complete. The Department of Basic Education points out that while graduates are allowed to choose in which province they work, they cannot choose specifically which school they will teach in.

The Funza Lushaka bursary is only awarded for single academic years, and then renewed if and when the student has passed. This means that even once an application has been approved, students need to continue applying annually, every October, until they have graduated. Re-applications for students already in the programme close on 15th November 2014 (before the new applications close).

Basic Education and Training in South Africa

Basic education and training is, of course, the backbone to skills development, which is a key requirement if there is to be any form of meaningful economic growth in South Africa any time soon. While the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) cover work sectors open to post school adults, it is the teachers of basic education who create the grounding for future employees to gain access to the country’s economic sector. This makes basic education and training a vital piece of the skills chain.

Funka Lushaka has published a booklet that explains just how teaching makes a difference in the lives of our children. Called Information Guide on Initial Teacher Education, (you can find the link at the bottom of the page) it emphasises that teaching is “a noble profession” that demands commitment, perseverance, passion, tolerance and dedication. Ultimately teaching, it says, offers an opportunity to mould and nurture the minds of young, growing children, and to help them develop life skills that will enable them to achieve success later on in life.

Who Can Become a Teacher

The Department has pinpointed a range of possibilities, from learners who about to complete Grade 12, to academically gifted people who have already left school but who are currently unemployed. Graduates who want to get a teaching qualification in addition to the degree they already have would also fit the bill, as would people who want to change their career and start teaching.

Generally they are looking for “young” people, and they are open about the fact that candidates from rural areas and/or those who want to teach in rural areas will be favoured. They are also more likely to award a bursary to an applicant whose financial status would, in other circumstances, exclude them from being able to study to become a teacher.
People who already have some sort of teaching qualification are not eligible to apply.

Where Successful Applicants of the Bursary Programme Will Study

There are a total of 22 higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa that currently offer courses that will result in recognised teacher qualifications. They are located in all of the eight provinces and include:

  • National institutes for higher education

  • Universities of technology

  • Universities

  • funza lushaka bursary

Applicants for the Funza Lushaka bursaries need to apply to an HEI before the closing date of applications (January 9). In other words they cannot wait to see if their bursary application was successful before applying to study.

A full list of relevant HEIs is given in the booklet, together with contact details and detailed information about programmes offered at the various institutions. It also specifies the qualification that will result from successful study.

Where to find the Application Form?

Funza Lushaka bursaries are only available to South Africans, and so proof of identity is required. Application forms are available from the Funza Lushaka website.
Link to document here Information Guide On Initial Teacher Education