DEPARTMENT TO HELP UNDERPRIVILEGED LEARNERS
By: Sandile Zikhali
Over the past years, matric students in disadvantaged areas have struggled to get tuition funding to further their studies.
To address the issue, the Department of Public Works has introduced a programme to bridge the gap by providing bursaries to students interested in the Built Environment Sector.
The Minister of Public Works, Thembelani Nxesi, said that he believes that there is a need for professionals in the built environment sector and this will be made possible by the introduction of this programme.
“We have started the Young Professional programme in the Department,” he said.
Thami Mchunu, spokesperson for the Public Works Department said that the programme will help underprivileged schools a lot.
“Top 50 students who did well in matric and are from schools participating in the Departmental Schools Programme stand to benefit from this,” he said.
Mchunu also added that the successful students will be funded with bursaries to the value of R120 000 per student annually.
The programme will target the Engineering, Architectural and Town Planning related studies in 10 universities, and has more than a hundred students.
Philasande Mathe, a Grade 12 student from Ilanga Secondary School, said that the programme will help financially needy students like him a lot and he is hoping to meet the minimum requirements at the end of the year.
“This is a great opportunity for us- we are so lucky to be offered something like this. That means I have to be friends with my books because I really want to be one of the students who get these bursaries,” said Mathe.
With some students very eager to take up the challenge of working hard to get the bursaries, some matriculated students are concerned about the bursaries being limited to certain fields of study only.
“I wish the government would offer such bursaries across all sectors. I want to study towards a medicine degree but I don’t have funding,” said an unsettled Siziwe Nhleko.
Mchunu also added that the students will be supported throughout their courses and they will be also assisted on entering the workplace.