Government Stops Prioritising Funza Lushaka Graduates For Teacher Posts


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Thousands of teachers benefited from the Funza Lushaka bursary on their journey to the classroom. However, being a recipient of the government bursary will no longer give candidates preference when applying for vacant teacher posts. 


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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has confirmed that beneficiaries of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme will no longer be prioritised when filling teacher posts. This decision was taken by the council of ministers. 

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is aimed to encourage teaching as a profession among young people by offering comprehensive bursaries to individuals pursuing teaching qualifications.

Funding covers Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses at all 26 public universities in South Africa.

A crucial aspect of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme saw recipients placed in teaching posts at schools upon the completion of their qualifications. However, Funza Lushaka graduates will no longer be prioritised for placement in school posts. 

University of Pretoria‘s Dean for Education Prof Chika Sehoole says Funza Lushaka recipients used to be given preference as they were “recruited' ' by the DBE to pursue teaching as a career to combat the shortage of qualified teachers in the country. 

They were given preference in terms of the appointment once they completed their studies so it's not just that they were favoured but it was part of a long-term policy of the government to respond to teacher supply needs in the system of education. 

However, FEDSAS Deputy CEO Riaan Van Der Bergh says this plan from the government did not necessarily work out as it was intended. 

Van Der Bregh explains that the hiring process encountered several hurdles. Key issues included inadequate advertising of positions and a mismatch between candidate availability and what posts needed to be filled. 

Additionally, there were instances where the number of applicants exceeded the available positions, leaving some self-funded and Funza Lushaka bursary holders without placements.

A recent report indicated that less than half of Funza Lushaka graduates have been successfully placed in schools. 

They welcome the shift in policy to allow all graduates to compete on a level playing field for vacant teacher posts. 

We welcome the move it is a policy shift endorsed by the Council of education ministers and yes it gives the the people who did not qualify for those bursaries an opportunity to find employment whether it be in those subjects that with a targeted need. 

Prof Sehoole says they welcome the policy shift as self-funded students receive the same quality of education and qualification as those who received a Funza Lushaka bursary. 

Some of the students had to take loans for them to fund their studies so with this levelling of the playing field, I think it is just the right thing to do

Suggested Article:

Education minister talking about budget cuts

South Africa needs teachers in critical areas including the foundation phase where learners are taught how to read. However, budget cuts mean that there is less money available to provide students with teaching bursaries. 






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