Fu­ture beck­ons matrics

Last pa­per and NSFAS dead­line loom

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - TSHEGO LEPULE [email protected]

AS MA­TRIC ex­ams wrap up this week, many young peo­ple will pre­pare for the next phase of their lives.

About 796 542 can­di­dates, com­pris­ing full-time and part-time pupils, sat for their fi­nal ex­ams across the coun­try.

In the Western Cape, most Grade 12 pupils will write their last ex­am­i­na­tion to­mor­row, English pa­per 3, while the rest of the coun­try fin­ishes two days later with agri­cul­tural man­age­ment prac­tices and dance.

Min­is­ter of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Angie Mot­shekga is ex­pected to an­nounce the na­tional and provin­cial re­sults on Jan­uary 3.

Schools and can­di­dates in the Western Cape will re­ceive their re­sults the next day, with the names printed in news­pa­pers on Satur­day, Jan­uary 5.

The dead­line to ap­ply for fi­nan­cial aid from the Na­tional Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for next year is Fri­day.

The last cy­cle for ap­pli­ca­tions opened in Septem­ber, with more than 262000 ap­pli­ca­tions re­ceived.

“Dur­ing the eval­u­a­tion process, 44702 ap­pli­ca­tions with miss­ing sup­port­ing doc­u­ments were de­tected. The NSFAS has told these ap­pli­cants to sub­mit the re­quired doc­u­ments be­fore the clos­ing date,” said the NSFAS’s Kag­isho Mam­abolo.

“On av­er­age, the NSFAS has been re­ceiv­ing 3500 ap­pli­ca­tions a day, with the num­ber in­creas­ing dras­ti­cally to 5 000 a day, which is also sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the 2018 ap­pli­ca­tion cy­cle.”

With uni­ver­si­ties and tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing col­leges to re-open in late Jan­uary, first-year stu­dents are ad­vised to en­sure ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing are se­cured in ad­vance.

“The Univer­sity of Cape Town (UCT) has the ca­pac­ity to en­rol ap­prox­i­mately 4200 first-year un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents in 2019.

“Un­der­grad­u­ate ap­pli­cants who need fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance must sub­mit their ap­pli­ca­tions on the NSFAS on­line ap­pli­ca­tion sys­tem,” said UCT spokesper­son Eli­jah Mo­holola.

He said UCT had mea­sures in place to as­sist stu­dents who re­quired fund­ing who were not cov­ered by the NSFAS.

He said UCT of­fered gap fund­ing for first-year stu­dents from house­holds above the thresh­old of R350 000 to R600000, as well as var­i­ous bur­saries and other fund­ing.

“The Ikusasa Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Pro­gramme, which is a part­ner­ship be­tween govern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor, pro­vides fi­nan­cial and wrap­around sup­port to des­ig­nated “miss­ing mid­dle” stu­dents whose gross fam­ily in­come is less than R600000 an­nu­ally,” he added.

He said mea­sures they had put in place ear­lier this year to as­sist late ap­pli­ca­tions from stu­dents who qual­i­fied for free ed­u­ca­tion was once-off em­a­nat­ing from for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s an­nounce­ment of free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion for the poor.

“Prospec­tive stu­dents wish­ing to make late ap­pli­ca­tions are ad­vised to do so via the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing’s cen­tral ap­pli­ca­tions clear­ing house.”

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