Why The Recruitment Of Funza Lushaka Graduates Is Low

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The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme plays an important role in ensuring that South Africa meets its targets of recruiting qualified educators. However, the absorption of this group of graduates has been relatively low, for various reasons provided by the department in its latest report.
 


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Dr. Reginah Mhaule, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, recently presented a report for the first quarter of 2022–2023 on the performance goals of the department's five programmes as outlined in its annual performance plan (APP).

Out of these programmes, the Department of Basic Education achieved 67% of its targets for Quarter 1 of 2022/23. 

The Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) appointed a total of 4 488 young, qualified educators to positions, with 1 291 of those appointments being permanent, 2 292 being temporary, and 905 being substitute/relief appointments. A report on the number of qualified educators aged 30 years and below was compiled.

According to the report, 2 080 out of the 4 232 Funza Lushaka graduates who were qualified for placement as of 30 June 2022, had already secured employment.

Mhaule added that the NSFAS bursary initially did not assist students who studied teaching, thus Funza Lushaka was developed as a special bursary programme to encourage students to become teachers.

Because of this, before the Funza Lushaka bursary was established, some students would switch to university courses that weren't priority teaching areas, which explains why the absorption rate is poor.

However, Funza Lushaka is no longer the DBE's top priority. Regardless of whether they are self-funded or receiving other forms of government assistance, graduates should be given the same priority for placement, according to the Council of Education Ministers.

She also points out that 20 000 teachers have quit their jobs in public schools over the past five years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There were between 7,000 to 8,000 resignations.  Half of the 20 000 are retirees. Each year, they must replace these educators, which Funza Lushaka graduates currently do.

Furthermore, according to the minister, there is a plan in place to deal with the loss of half the teachers during the following ten years. 

 

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