South Africa phases in free education for the poor

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

From this year onwards, government has declared that it would “incrementally bring in completely free education and training at the undergraduate level.”

Minister for Basic Education Angie Motshekga revealed at a media briefing in Cape Town the fact that learners in FET colleges, who actually qualified for financial assistance, are going to be “exempted 100 % from having to pay academic fees.”

“This approach really should furthermore improve admission to the colleges for college students coming from poor families, and in addition assist the country to fulfill its requirements for intermediate and technical skills,” explained the minister.

The briefing followed President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address a week ago, during which he explained that elevating the bar in education and learning is going to be among the list of five government priorities this coming year.

President Jacob Zuma

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, also went to the briefing.

Motshekga stated that Nzimande’s department had “shifted expeditiously to create systems to eliminate just about all obstacles to gain access to to post school opportunities by young people…”

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme, administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, has been providing “full cost bursaries” to talented individuals enthusiastic about teaching priority subjects when it comes to rural areas.

“In 2011, the scheme is going to help support somewhere around 8 500 new and continuing student teachers spanning virtually all years of study. Somewhere around 900 bursaries will likely be readily available for first time students in 2011,” Motshekga said.

The minister declared that from this year onwards, practising teachers are going to be provided “enhancement development opportunities” to boost their practical knowledge by means of short courses at universities together with other private providers.

Source: BuaNews

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