The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools. Bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority. Recipients of the bursary will be required to teach at a school or provincial education department for the same number of years that they receive the bursary. Qualified recipients of the bursary can apply for appropriate public school positions with the provincial education department (PED) of their choice. The PED concerned will determine whether there is a suitable post available. If there is not, the applicant will be offered employment in a PED that does have suitable vacancies.
The bursary is only awarded to South African citizens. Applications will not be considered unless the applicant has a valid South African ID number. Applicants for the bursary must already have been accepted into an appropriate study programme at a recognized higher education institution. Applicants also need to meet certain admission criteria of the institution and they must also meet the national selection criteria for the Funza Lushaka bursary.
Selection criteria include the following:
* The applicant’s academic ability;
* Eligibility for an approved degree or PGCE in one of the priority areas;
* Commitment to a teaching career, which includes: interest in working with young people; enthusiasm for a professional career in teaching; readiness to face and surmount difficult challenges and personal integrity;
* Commitment to teach in any school to which a student may be appointed by a PED.
Everything else being equal, selection should favour candidates from rural areas, candidates who wish to teach in rural areas and candidates whose financial position would otherwise exclude them from enrolment for a teaching qualification. The bursary will only be awarded if one of the priority area specialization subjects is included as a teaching subject in your qualification.
Please note that those who already have other teaching qualifications do not qualify for this programme.
Programmes to be funded
Three types of qualifications can be funded. These are shown in the table below. The qualification must include subjects which will allow the student to specialise as a teacher in at least one priority area (see next section below).
In addition to specialising in a priority area, you will also need to specialise in a phase for the B.Ed and PGCE teaching qualifications. If you prefer teaching younger children, you could specialise in Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3) or Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 6).On the other hand, if you prefer teaching older children you could specialise in Senior Phase (Grade 7 – 9) or FET Phase (Grade 10 –12). Some universities offer qualifications which combine specialisation in the Foundation Phase and Intermediate Phase, or the Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase, or the Senior Phase and FET Phase. These combined qualifications are also acceptable.
The priority areas that are currently funded are indicated in the table below. These areas could be reconsidered from year to year.
How to apply
You need to apply for admission to a teaching qualification (B Ed or PGCE) or a Bachelors degree (e.g. BSc, B Tech, BA) with at least one major course in a priority area at a university of your choice. Once you have gained admission at a university, you are required to apply for the bursary via this Internet website.
The bursary is awarded for one academic year at a time and, on proof of academic success, the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher. The bursary holder will be required to re-apply by the end of October for the following year. Recipients of bursaries will be required to teach one year for every year for which they receive a bursary.
What the bursary covers
Funza Lushaka bursaries cover all the recipient’s essential expenses. Expenses covered include tuition, full accommodation including meals, books and learning materials, and a small allowance for monthly living expenses. Universities have different cost structures, so the total value of a bursary differs from institution to institution.
Conditions for repeating a year
The bursary period may be extended to cover one additional year in a degree programme, or the time required for completion of one additional course in the PGCE programme. Only one such extension will be granted. Any additional time required will be at the recipient’s own cost. The bursary is renewable for one academic year at a time. On proof of academic success the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher.
Conditions for repayment of the bursary
The bursary must be repaid only if the recipient fails to qualify, fails to apply for a teaching post with a PED at a public school, fails to take up a teaching post with a PED at a public school, leaves a teaching post with a PED before the end of the contracted service period, or otherwise fails to meet a requirement of the bursary agreement.
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