NSFAS exhibits at Annual Nelson Mandela Career Development Festival
A total of 3 197 Grade 11 and 12 learners from 10 schools around Mvezo Village in Eastern Cape, participated in a three days Annual Nelson Mandela Career Development Festival held from 18 July 2018 – 20 July 2018.
The Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) event was aimed at enriching, advising and guiding learners of available Post-School Education and Training (PSET) study opportunities, was National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Ms Naledi Pandor, gave a key note address; and she was accompanied by Director-General Gwebinkundla Qonde, and MEC for Education in Eastern Cape, Mandla Makupula. “I urge you to apply now at universities and colleges. Make sure that you make use of this free education opportunity to reach for your dreams. Do it for yourselves and do it for Mandela” Pandor said.
The Minister also announced that she will be making available 100 bursaries for leaners who wish to pursue skills in high demand, from quantile one to three within the district.
The festival started on Wednesday with leaners engaging with exhibitors which included Eskom, Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA), Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) National Skills Fund (NSF), Stellenbosch University, Department of Labour, and Kheta.
Following a successful engagement with learners on the open day of the event, exhibitors sealed the festival by visiting five school around the province on Thursday and Friday, which are; Bazindlovu S.S.S, Dalibaso S.S.S, Zwelodumo S.S.S, Tyelinzima SSS, and Chief N.Z. Mtirara.
NSFAS and University of Venda hand out assistive devices to 74 disabled students
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) together with the University of Venda (UNIVEN) hosted the first Assistive
Device Handover event on 27 August 2018 at the university in Thohoyandou. Through the NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme
the scheme has funded 2 915 students living with disability across all 26 universities and 50 TVET colleges.
The NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme provides financial support to students with disabilities who need financial aid and possess the ability to pass their academic subjects. The NSFAS Disability Fund covers the costs of tuition, registration, books, accommodation, meals. In addition to paying for students’ full cost of study, the Disability Fund also provides funded students with assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops etc) and Human Support (carers).
The aim of the fund is to open opportunities in higher education, by providing the necessary additional teaching and support for students to overcome learning barriers which have resulted from disability. For a student living with a disability to be considered for the NSFAS bursary, their disability must be disclosed on the application form (whether online or the paper-based application). University of Venda is one of the institutions which have the highest number of students living with disability. Some of the contributing factors to the high incidences of disabilities are attributed to poverty, malnutrition, insufficient medical care, and a lack of access to health facilities. Since 2001 UNIVEN began to move towards the institutionalization of services for students with disabilities by appointing staff members on a part-time basis. UNIVEN is able to cater for students with various disabilities with the funds administered by NSFAS. The different forms of disability are listed as:
- Blindness; Partially-sighted
- Deaf; Deaf-Blind
- Hearing impaired; Hard of hearing
- Neurodevelopmental disabilities
- Psychosocial disabilities
- Physical disability
- Chronic illness
The UNIVEN Disabled Students Unit has 192 students with various disabilities who registered for academic support. During the 2018 academic year the institutions Disability Unit worked closely with NSFAS to purchase devices for 74 registered students, this is an immense achievement to have this large number of students receive assistive devices in one year. Over 100 students attended the event where a variety of assistive devices such as scooters and laptops were handed out to provide the much-needed support to students living with disability in order to help them access the same quality education as their abled bodied peers.
NSFAS together with UNIVEN would like to urge students living with disabilities wishing to further their higher education to apply for the NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme during the 2019 application cycle. Returning students who have not signed their agreements are urged to do by going to www.nsfas.org.za and signing their agreements before it is too late.