BURSARY scheme Funza Lushaka’s announcement to sponsor 100 Wits Education students has caused confusion about how the bursaries will be allocated.
Two members of the Wits Education Student Council (ESC) said that Funza has put aside an estimated R80-million for students who had not received funding this year. This is in response to protests over the bursary scheme earlier this year.
The ESC members said that they were told that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has agreed to allocate the funding across first to third year students only.
The news which was supposed to be exciting for most students without funding, has sparked a contradictory response from many. Many students who did not get funding from Funza Lushaka at the beginning of this year say that they doubt that they will form part of the 100 awarded bursars.
Godsgift Shabangu, a second-year Education student, said that he has applied twice for the bursary and was not notified on both occasions why he failed to qualify.
“I don’t even know the criteria anymore because you get people who come from wealthy families and drive nice cars but are still on Funza,” said Shabangu. He added that he still owes R25 000 of fees from last year and doesn’t know how he will come up with the money.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t think I will get funding because I was also rejected without any explanation and now I sell beauty products on campus to pay for my fees,” said Londiwe Sibanda, another second-year student who was rejected by the bursary scheme.
Some of the students complained to Wits Vuvuzela that they were not asked about their financial situation by Funza, despite the DBE saying that the bursary was for needy students.
Wits Vuvuzela asked School of Education head Karin Brodie about the alleged inconsistencies in the selection process and she said that the DBE has a specific criteria in place which is applied consistently.
“We have forwarded all queries about the information [the DBE] provide on their website and they have undertaken to change the website in line with the criteria,” said Brodie.
Wits Vuvuzela: Funza fund not fair, claim students , March 28, 2014
Wits Vuvuzela: Delayed bursary payments leave education students hungry, June 6, 2014