Understanding the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year initiative designed to promote teaching as a profession in South Africa. Here’s a summary of the key points you need to know:

  1. About the Programme: The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme provides bursaries to selected students to complete a teaching qualification in identified priority subject areas. Recipients of these bursaries are required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary.
  2. Eligibility: The bursary is open to academically gifted individuals below the age of 30, including current Grade 12 learners, graduates who want to complete a teaching qualification or enrol for a PGCE, people who want to make a career change and become teachers, and unemployed individuals who want to become teachers.
  3. Application Process: Prospective bursars must first gain admission at a higher education institution (HEI). Applications for the bursary can be submitted online at www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za.
  4. Priority Subject Areas: The bursary programme is designed to boost recruitment into teaching, particularly in priority subject areas. These include Foundation Phase (with preference for South African Indigenous Languages), Intermediate and Senior Phase (with preference for Languages, Mathematics, and Natural Science & Technology), and FET phase (with preference for Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Technology, Civil Technology, Computer Applications Technology, Electrical Technology, Engineering Graphics and Design, Geography, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Technology, Physical Sciences, Languages, Maritime studies, Coding and Robotics, Technical Mathematics and Technical Science).
  5. Bursary Value: The total value of a bursary differs from institution to institution and should cover essential expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation including meals, books and learning materials, and if possible a small allowance for monthly living expenses.
  6. Service Obligation: Bursary recipients are required to teach one year for every year for which they have received a bursary. Each year of service shall repay one full-time year of bursary-assisted studies.
  7. Repayment: The bursary does not need to be repaid unless the recipient fails to meet certain requirements, such as making academic progress, registering for a course of study that is not in a designated priority area, failing to apply for a teaching post with a PED at a public school, leaving a teaching post with a PED before the end of the contracted service period, or otherwise failing to meet a requirement of the bursary agreement.
  8. Placement: Qualified recipients of bursaries will be placed by the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to teach in a public school. Offers of employment will be made, subject to the Employment of Educators Act, 1998, and the South African Schools Act, 1996, as amended as well as the SACE Act.

Remember, the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a great opportunity for those who are passionate about teaching and committed to making a difference in the education sector in South Africa.