Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Dr Thabo Msibi, has secured funding of about a million rand for 20 deserving Education students through the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDPSETA).
The funding covers tuition for those selected for 2015 with each student receiving R50 000.
After hearing student pleas concerning funding and the subsequent uncertainty about their futures, Msibi decided to contact relevant funding networks for financial assistance. Due to the national funding crisis, many previous donors and sponsors were unable to help but then ETDPSETA stepped in.
‘We generated a list of students who were financially needy and who also displayed excellent academic performance. These students were contacted and were overjoyed to hear they could come back to the University to complete their studies,’ said Msibi.
Student Ms Mbali Mkila, who was excited to be returning, expressed her gratitude to Msibi and ETDPSETA for giving her the opportunity to complete her studies. ‘Getting this funding has helped me so much. I was so stressed and worried about where I was going to find the money to pay for registration and the rest of my fees. My parents were also worried but this is now a weight off my shoulders. Hard work and performing well in my studies has helped me get this far.’
Another student, Mr Sphesihle Ntombela, was faced with the reality of dropping out from UKZN and finding a job to support himself and his family but was spared this when the funding from ETDPSETA came through. ‘It was really a blessing. My parents were so happy, they cried.’
Msibi pointed out that although money had been provided to students for their tuition, many still struggled to pay for transport to and from the University and those in residences battled to buy food. He believes that this is something that needs to be taken into consideration and handled accordingly.
The students though, are hoping to one day get involved in financially helping other students complete their studies and to help find more sponsors to fund opportunities for students.