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University, Newsletter
29 July 2021

FUNZA LUSHAKA FUNDED STUDENTS COME OUT TOPS

The students from the University of Mpumalanga, Siyabuswa campus: Vanessa Nkuna, Bongiwe Makhoyane, Thobile Mahlangu and Mahlatse Mashilo, excelled in their programmes with Nkuna receiving an incredible 28 distinctions. The four are among 89 other students who are funded by the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme.

The bursary scheme funds students with the aim to deliver highly qualified beginner teachers for the Foundation Phase. It covered most of the recipients’ essential expenses, which include tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books and learning materials, teaching practice, as well as a small allowance for monthly living expenses for some. 

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme and the University of Mpumalanga have provided the student teachers with some of the following:

  • A well-rounded education that equips them with the required subject content knowledge base, teaching competence, a nuanced understanding of the integrated nature of theory and practice in education, and the context of the teaching profession in South Africa. 
     
  • The Bachelor of Education Foundation Phase programme focuses specifically on child development, literacy, numeracy (mathematics) and the knowledge that underpins life skills.
     
  • A professional teaching qualification. Students will be specialists in the teaching of young children in their mother-tongue language.
     
  • An understanding of the organizing principles and theoretical framework underpinning childhood development, social, emotional and sensory development to enable them to support learners’ development in the Foundation Phase classroom.
     
  • The use of educational information technology to enhance the use of ICT in teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase; use blended technology as part of their teaching methodology, to teach the understanding of numbers, number systems, algebra, fractions, shapes, space, measurement (mass, weight) to enable them to support children’s acquisition of these concepts. 

The student graduates from University of Mpumalanga will be required to teach one year for every year for which they have received the bursary. They will also be required to teach at a government school for the same number of years that they received the bursary. 

The students have also been empowered with an understanding of teaching methods relevant for teaching literacy and initial writing and to provide them with practice opportunities to develop teaching skills for literacy and initial writing teaching. They will also contribute to the development of African languages and cultures within their community.

@ Story published by the University of Mpumalanga Communications Division