Knowledge is like gold. It changes lives. Confucius, China’s most famous philosopher, said that a man who asks a question might look like a fool for a minute, but the one who does not ask will be a fool for a lifetime. Knowledge really is power. Teachers have this power in their hands.
They touch lives and shape futures by spreading wisdom. Yet, some people shy away from becoming teachers. The reason is often that it costs quite a lot of money to study at university and earn the right to go into a classroom and spread the light of knowledge. Often people with a love for children, a ton of patience, and a keen interest in education would come along, but their dreams of becoming teachers came to an abrupt end because of a lack of funds.
The decline of student numbers for introductory education courses was cause for concern for the South African education authorities. They realized they had to do something and came up with bursaries to help students become teachers with the money. They learned a full-cost bursary for the right candidate had become a necessity.
The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme covers accommodation costs (including meals), tuition, study material, and a R600 per month grant to cover other expenses. The bursary only has to be repaid:
- if the recipient does not qualify or
- fails to make an application with a provincial education department for a teaching position at a public school or
- does not complete any of the bursary agreement requirements or
- leaves a post before the end of the service period.
This Bursary Programme is aimed at promoting teaching as a profession and strives to equip the right people for teaching in public schools. The Department of Basic Education heads it, and the funds come from the National Treasury. It is administered by the Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). It enables eligible candidates to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority.
This bursary’s creation had the desired effect, and interest in initial teacher education programmes at universities increased. Recently the focus has changed from solving the problem of not enough students being interested in studying to become teachers to meeting another challenge. Students still did not enrol in numbers for the subjects and school phases in which the need was the greatest.
Recipients of these bursaries will have to teach at a public school for a timespan equal to that for which they received the bursary. Recipients of the bursary are assigned to a school and cannot choose where they want to teach. Only applicants who are accepted into either a BEd or PGCE qualification at a university will be considered.
Funza Lushaka General criteria
To be successful in the application, the candidate must meet specific criteria. These include:
- The applicant must be a South African citizen, 30 years old or younger, with a valid ID and no criminal record.
- Applicants charged with misconduct or anyone who have been dismissed from work do not qualify.
- No Higher Education Institution employee or immediate family members will be accepted.
- The applicant must be academically competent and have a desire to work with young people.
- Candidates must be committed to teaching in the school to which they are appointed by a Provincial Education Department.
- Apply online. No hard copies will be accepted.
- Candidates must print the online application once it is completed.
- No-one with any other teaching qualification will qualify.
- Candidates who will have an edge in the process of selecting bursary recipients are those from rural areas or who wish to teach in rural areas, as well as candidates who would otherwise be excluded from obtaining a teaching qualification because they do not have the necessary funds.
Funza Lushaka Candidate Requirements:
Three groups of students may apply
- Learners in Grade 12;
- Graduates who have as their aim to complete a postgraduate education qualification.
- People who have a desire to become teachers.
The subjects included in the applicant’s course play a significant role in the allocation of bursaries. Applicants will only qualify if they have included two priority area subjects as a specialization. Full details about this and other requirements can be found in this PDF.
Funza Lushaka Application Date
Bursary Application Closing Date: 11 January (New applications)
& 16 November (Re-applications)
How to apply for The Funza Lushaka Bursary:
- Go to www.eservices.gov.zaRegister by filling in the necessary personal information.
- When you log in, use your password and user name that you chose when you registered,
- Select Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme
- You should have received an OTP. Enter it.
- The Terms and Conditions will be listed. Accept them.
- Click on the Application-option.
- Follow the instructions on the screen and complete the required fields.
- Accept the declaration.
How to track your Funza Lushaka application status
2. Provide your login details; username and password
3. Click the Login button
4. Check your status