Larry Jantjies Interview: 2021 Student Representative Council President at False Bay TVET College

Larry Jantjies, the 2021 Student Representative Council President, is currently pursuing his N5 in Public Management Certificate at the Mitchell’s Plain Campus. Cheryl Martin, the Student Support and Development Services Officer at the Mitchell’s Plain Campus says the 21-year-old originally from the Free State has impressive personal and leadership qualities.

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“Larry is a quiet and respectful guy, but when he does speak, he has something very insightful to say. He is more mature than most of his peers and also has a very caring nature,” says Cheryl.

SRC Vice-President, Darren Maybe, says: “We have not engaged much face-to-face due to COVID-19, but via our online meetings he has always been professional, astute and you can see he really enjoys and cares about the general student community. Larry is transparent and accountable for his action and those are the qualities we require in a leader.”

We asked Larry a few questions to gain some more insight into the elected voice of the student
body of 2021.

Tell us about yourself, both Larry the student and Larry the SRC President?
As a student, I am very disciplined and purposeful in everything I do. I evaluate each situation
as far as I can, from start to end and when I execute, I am able to do so with confidence. As SRC President, I approach my position with positive energy, making sure that I influence my team with the will to succeed and the passion to carry on. I believe that high morale inspires productivity in the Student Representative Council. It’s also about identifying each SRC representative’s strengths and providing them with a platform to shine and grow their leadership talents.

Why did you choose to study at False Bay TVET College?
I always intended to study in the community I plan on working in. False Bay TVET College had the best reputation in the community I moved to, and I saw this College as the perfect opportunity to become familiar with the local community while studying my field of interest.

What do you intend to do during your term as SRC President?
I intend improving the relationship between our students and our SRCs on all campuses, exposing the broader community to what False Bay TVET College has to offer the community and being a mouthpiece for all our students as a collective and keeping the values of our College in mind with every decision made. It’s important that we maintain a democratic approach to all decisions and bridge the gap between all of the College stakeholders.

What was your journey to being elected like?
When I initially joined the SRC in February 2020, I saw the impact that the SRC had on our student peers. This perspective motivated me to work hard as an SRC member, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Last year’s experience was the cornerstone of my journey. My journey was clear, simply because I knew what needed to be done. I stated my intentions and commitment to my peers and the willingness to accept all the responsibility attached to investigate and activate each task. It was my wish that the best candidate be elected, even if that wasn’t me. Fortunately, my motivation for election was strong enough to secure me the seat of President, a position I take earnestly.

How will being in this position benefit you as a student?
As a Public Management student, I get to put my studies into practice. I get to see the structures of our government represented on a small scale within our College committees and departments. Practicing a collaborative approach will increase my ability to listen and adjust approaches for even greater outcomes.

I get to take on more responsibilities. I am a firm believer that the responsibility you freely choose to take is a good indicator of success. ‘Find the heaviest thing you can carry and carry it’.

What are some of your duties as SRC President?
As SRC President my duties range from acting as Chairperson in our SRC Executive Committee meetings to representing all our students at the College Council level. I ensure that our SRCs are running according to protocol and I serve on all boards and committees that carry the interest of all our students, for example, our Academic Board and COVID-19 Task Team. Something I do look forward to is our Community Outreach activation which we align to the Mandela Day 67 Minutes Initiative.

What was your first reaction when you found out you were elected?
I felt really honoured because I knew our SRC members, Campus Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons were in unanimous agreement that I was the best fit for the position. This meant I would have their full support. Their united decision was not based on popularity, but rather in the trust that I would always represent the best interests of our student community.

How has being at False Bay TVET College contributed to your achievements today?
The College has taught me to dream and to work hard for those dreams to be achieved. I have been left with the assurance that False Bay TVET College has the students’ best interest at heart with every decision that is made.

The College’s Student Support and Development Services has also been very active in my journey to date with the College. Their ongoing support and guidance allow me to embrace my role. It is through this support that we accept the challenges outside of our comfort areas.

What do you think can be improved in the TVET sector and what will you do to contribute to improvement?
The sector needs to wear its achievements with pride. It is great that its main focus is on creating value for our population, but people need to know that the sector is making a difference in individual lives and contributing to the overall success of South Africa. This sector achieves a lot and doesn’t get the exposure it deserves. I will continue to promote TVET college education and share my positive experience with the College with anyone considering a higher education path.

What advice would you give to any student wanting to make their mark and invite change?

Try what you can. When you make mistakes, learn from them. When you fail, use the judgment of others as motivation to do better. But commit yourself responsibly and dedicate yourself to whatever you commit to.

Image: Larry Jantjies

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