Every year, over R1 billion is allocated by the government to the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme.
It is a unique programme in that it directs its money to students training to be in the teaching profession. Its recipients are required to teach in a public school for at least the same number of years they received the bursary.
Who is eligible for the Funza Lushaka bursary programme?
As mentioned, this is a closed programme in that only it has one specific objective, unlike other bursaries that fund students from all courses.
Those eligible for the Funza Lushaka programme include:
* learners, currently in Grade 12;
* graduates who want to complete a teaching qualification (enroll for a PGCE);
* people who want to make a career change and become teachers.
* unemployed people who want to become teachers.
Basically, the students eligible should be pursuing either a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
Before applying, one must first gain admission into a recognized institution of higher learning.
Funza Lushaka selection criteria.
On top of meeting the stated eligibility requirements, this is the rest of the selection criteria.
/ The student must be a South African citizen with a valid South African ID number.
/ Employees of higher education institution, their spouses and dependents are not eligible for the Funza Lushaka bursary.
/ Applicants must have already been accepted into one of the two listed courses at an accredited public university.
/ The applicant should demonstrate good academic ability.
/ The applicant should demonstrate commitment to a teaching career.
Are distance education and part-time students eligible?
Yes they are, provided they meet all other requirements.
How to apply for Funza Lushaka Bursary
Prospective bursars, once they have gained admission at a higher education institution, should apply online at www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za .
More information about the programme can be found on the same website. Questions and queries can be directed to the Student Financial Aid office in your institution, or to the staff in the Faculty or School of Education.
Are recipients of other bursaries eligible for Funza Lushaka?
Yes, students can apply for Funza Lushaka as well as other bursaries. However, if granted Funza Lushaka, one must decline the other bursary.
What Allowances does Funza Lushaka Offer?
It is good to note that the programme allocates funds to institutions and not individuals. Payment to individual students is done by the institution in accordance with its own guidelines and cost structure.
Therefore, the amount paid to a single student will first and foremost differ from institution to institution.
This bursary goes over and beyond just covering tuition.
Also covered is:
/ Learning materials
/ Meal allowance
/ Stipend to cover basic living – R600
Is Funza Lushaka bursary paid back?
A bursary of any kind is generally not paid back. It is a grant and not a loan.
However, Funza Lushaka comes with some conditions that would necessitate the students to pay it back, with interest. Remember this bursary is conditional, in that you have to work for the government.
This is how you may be required to pay back your Funza Lushaka bursary.
1. If the recipient received the bursary despite pursuing a course that is not in a designated priority area.
2. If the recipient fails to apply for a teaching post with a PED at a public school.
3. If the recipient fails to take up a teaching post with a PED at a public school.
4. If the recipient leaves a teaching post with a PED before the end of the contracted service period.