The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools. Full-cost bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a full 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 of years that they receive the bursary.
Qualified recipients of the bursary must request placement in a province of their choice. The provincial education department (PED) concerned will determine whether there is suitable post available. If there is not, the applicant may be placed in a PED that does have suitable vacancies. Please note that bursars cannot choose the school in which they would like to be placed.
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The following must be read before making an application for a Funza Lushaka bursary in 2014
1. It only awarded to South African citizens. Applications will not be considered unless a certified copy of the applicants‟ ID document is submitted to support the application.
2. Applications must be made online.
3. It will only be awarded if ONE of the priority area specialisation subjects is included as a teaching subject in the qualification.
The priority areas are:
Foundation Phase (i.e. Grades R-3): Foundation Phase specialisation.
Intermediate and Senior Phase (i.e. Grades 4-9) A teaching major in one of the following: African Languages; English Language; Mathematics; Natural Science; Technology.
FET Phase (i.e. Grades 10-12): A teaching major in one of the following:
Accounting, African Languages; Agricultural Sciences; Agricultural Technology; Civil Technology; Computer Applications Technology; Economics, Electrical Technology; Engineering Graphics and Design; English Language; Geography, Information Technology; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mathematical Literacy; Mechanical Technology; Physical Science.
Students must meet the minimum academic criteria for award of the bursary. In 2014, the minimum academic criteria are:
For 1st time entrants to university:
– An exemption, endorsement, or „Admission to Bachelor Degree Studies‟ pass at matric /Grade 12 level.
– At least a level 4 pass or 60% on the Standard Grade or 50% on the Higher Grade pass at matric level in the subject which leads on to the priority area/subject in which the applicant will specialise to teach.
– For students who wish to specialise in the Foundation Phase, a pass in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy at Grade 12 level is required. In addition, a level 4 pass or 60% on the Standard Grade or 50% on the Higher Grade pass in the Home Language is required. If a student completed matric prior to 2008 when Mathematics was not compulsory, a student may still be considered based on overall good performance (Average of at least 50%).
– Students who wish to specialise in the teaching of Technology subjects, including Computer Applications Technology, and who do not have these subjects at matric level, must have a pass in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.
The student must have:
– passed all of the modules studied in 2013 or in the last year of study at the university.
– at least a 55% average across all the modules studied in 2013 or in the applicant‟s last year of study at university.
– at least 55% average in modules studied in 2013 or in the applicant‟s last year of study at university, which relate directly to the priority area teaching specialisation.
The student must:
– have passed 2/3 of the modules studied in 2013 or the last year of study at the university.
– have passed 2/3 of the priority area modules studied in 2013 or the last year of study at the university.
– be progressing to the next level/year of study; and
– have at least 50% average across all modules.
Applicants must note that these are minimum criteria. Meeting these criteria does not mean automatic acceptance for the bursary. There are a limited number of bursaries available, and the best students will be selected for the bursary.
– On qualifying, bursars will be required to take up a provincial teaching position. Bursars will not be granted permission to defer the placement contractual obligation to continue with full-time studies e.g. B.Ed (Hons). Nor will bursars be granted permission to take a “gap year”. Applicants must note that provincial education departments will place graduate bursars in teaching posts in schools in which they are needed. Bursars cannot choose the school in which they would like to teach, nor can they apply directly to a school. It is also possible that bursars can be offered a placement in another province if there is no suitable position in the province of choice. To meet contractual obligations, bursars will have to accept the offer.
– The bursary is awarded for one academic year at a time. It is not automatically re-awarded. Re-award will depend on academic success. There is no automatic promise of support for 4 years plus 1 more year. On evidence of academic success, and pending the availability of funds, the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher. Recipients of bursaries will be required to teach one year for every year for which they receive a bursary.
– The bursary must be repaid if the recipient fails to qualify, fails to apply for a teaching post with a provincial education department for placement at a public school, fails to take up a teaching post with a provincial education department at a public school, leaves a teaching post with a provincial education department before the end of the contracted service period, or otherwise fails to meet a requirement of the bursary agreement. In all of the cases described above, the bursary converts to an interest-bearing loan.
– The amount that is repayable is the full amount of the bursary received under the programme, less one year’s funding for every year spent teaching at a public school. Interest will be charged at the rate determined by NSFAS from time to time, which is always less than the commercial rate.
– The Department of Basic Education prefers to use an e-mail or SMS to communicate with bursars and if you are awarded or re-awarded the bursary you will be expected to have an e-mail address and if possible a cell phone contact for SMS purposes.
These conditions are all contained in the bursary contract which all applicants must sign. When applicants sign the bursary contract, they are legally agreeing to the conditions described in the contract. Process for applying for the bursar in 2014
– Applications must only be made once students have been allocated a valid student number and have been accepted/provisionally accepted at their university of choice.
– All applications must be made online. Take note of the closing date. No applications will be entertained after the closing date. Students must apply online and submit supporting documentation to the university.
– After your application has been completed online, you will be prompted to make a printout. This will serve as proof of your application. Keep a copy for yourself, and submit a copy to the university where you have been accepted and where you will be registering. The copy submitted to the university must be accompanied by:
– A certified copy of your ID.
– A certified copy of your academic results. For 1st year students coming out of Grade 12, this will be a certified copy of your Grade 12 result notification or Grade 12 certificate. For students already at university, this will be a certified copy of your academic transcript, which must include results for 2013 or your last year of study at university.
– Your application will only be considered once all these documents have been received by your university.
– Your university will inform you of the outcome of your application and you will also receive a letter from the Department of Basic Education should you be registered at a university.
– Please ensure that all information that you capture is accurate, and that priority areas that you capture are the ones you will specialize in. The academic year of study refers to the level you are studying e.g. B Ed 1 = 1st year, B Ed 3 = 3rd year.
NB. Your university may allow first time applicants who are not yet at university and who do not have easy access to the Internet to submit paper-based applications. Enquire at your university about this possibility.
Applications for 2014 from returning bursaries:
o Applications will be accepted online from 01 October 2013.
o The deadline for receipt of applications from returning bursars is 15 November 2013.
Applications for 2014 from new applicants:
o Applications will be accepted online from 01 October 2013.
o The deadline for receipt of applications from new applicants is 10 January 2014. Applications received after 10 January 2014 will not be considered.
Communications from students about the bursary In the first instance, all enquiries about the bursary must be directed to the Funza Lushaka academic and administrative co-ordinators at your university. They will be best placed to respond to any issues. Students should not communicate directly with NSFAS (the financial managers of the scheme) or with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) or the Department of Higher Education and Training. It is only when issues cannot be resolved at institutional level that the assistance of the DBE should be sought.