DBE Encourages South Africans to Apply for Funza Lushaka Bursary

Department of Basic Education (DBE) Proposed 2024 Calendar School Year

DBE Encourages South Africans to Apply for Funza Lushaka Bursary

The Department of Basic Education has responded to calls for permanent employment within the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) , saying there are “more opportunities for the youth” that are placed and employed within the programme.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced in a media statement, released on the 17th of July, that while the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative is temporary, one solution when members of the programme ask themselves “what’s next?”, is to take up the DBE’s offer of the Funza Lushaka Bursary for those wanting to venture into a teaching qualification.

Implemented within the Basic Education Sector, the PYEI seeks to provide unemployed youth with learning and earning opportunities, by acting as a medium to address South Africa’s staggering high levels of youth unemployment, which it has managed to combat across all nine provinces.

One of the key objectives of the PYEI is to provide the beneficiaries with skills and competencies that will enhance their prospects for future employment.

In the context of the Basic Education Sector, the initiative has assisted in ensuring that teachers were supported in the classrooms by way of maintaining discipline and preparing classes for lessons.

The initiative saw more than 320 000 young men and women secure job opportunities in around 23 000 public schools, appointed as Education Assistants (EAs) and General School Assistants (GSAs) who provide support before school starts, during school time and after school.

Some members of the programme during Phase I and II have left and found other opportunities for employment or have chosen to apply at tertiary institutions to further their education, fulfilling the PYEI’s goal of helping South Africa’s youth find other career paths.

Phase II ended on the 31st of March, 2022, and a new contract (Phase III) had been introduced from the 1st of April, 2022, that will end on the 30th of September, 2022.

Upon the youth’s exit before the implementation of a new phase, the DBE (through eCubed technologies) will provide exit packages which will include how to build a CV, service letter and information on other opportunities the youth may access.

Many have asked for the PYEI initiative to permanently employ Educational Assistants and General School Assistants, instead of temporarily employing them within a contract of a few months in different Phases, but their requests have not been met.

Instead, in the abovementioned media statement, the Department of Basic Education encourages those looking to begin a career in teaching to opt for the Funza Lushaka Bursary.

“One of the key objectives of the initiative is to provide exit pathways for the youth, for them to explore various other opportunities, as the PYEI is a short-term intervention; many have expressed a view that this should become a permanent feature in our public schools.

For those who wish to study towards a teaching qualification, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) offers the Funza Lushaka Bursary.”

To apply for the Funza Lushaka Bursary (which only funds Bachelor of Education degrees and PGCE courses available at universities), applicants who can apply are:

  1. Any academically exceptional student who is 30 years old or younger,
  2. Anyone with exemption or admission to a Bachelor’s Degree,
  3. Someone with at least a level 4 pass at matric level in the subject which leads to the priority are/subject in which the applicant will specialize to teach,
  4. An applicant with a Foundation Phase specialty, that has a pass in Mathematics or a level 4 pass in Mathematical Literacy at Grade 12 level (required),
  5. An applicant with a level 4 pass in the Home Language,
  6. Students who wish to specialize in teaching Technology subjects (including CAT) and do not have these at matric level but have a level 4 pass in Mathematics,
  7. An academic record with at least 2 Technical subjects/modules studied up to second year level showing a full completion of the qualification.