Education department has promised to address the late payment of bursaries by ensuring that teaching bursary is paid by end of each month.
Report has it that over 500 Unisa students have been approved for the state Teaching Bursary programme‚ Funza Lushaka‚ but they are yet to receive their allowances for several months after their academic year started.
Bursaries are made available to enable eligible students complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority and the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools.
The allowances are meant to cover textbooks‚ accommodation and feeding, but students have complained of the delay in releasing the funds and how it affects their studies and preparations for the upcoming semester examinations.
“How am I expected to study properly without textbooks? Administration of Funza at Unisa needs to improve‚” a student told Sowetan.
However, the dean of the College of Education at Unisa‚ Veronica McKay said 519 students at the school have been approved for Funza Lushaka. She added that their their tuition fees have been paid‚ and that the issue of allowances would be sorted out by the Department of Basic Education‚ custodians of the bursary scheme.
“We are fully committed to ensuring that students have a positive learning experience and that they are supported – especially those students who come from disadvantaged circumstances‚” McKay said
Education Department’s spokesman Elijah Mhlanga categorically noted that students would receive their allowances before end of April.
Recipients of the teaching bursary are usually required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they receive the bursary.
Qualified recipients of the bursary apply for appropriate public school positions with the provincial education department (PED) of their choice which will in return 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.