BURSARIES FOR YOUTH ENHANCES CAPABILITIES
Anna Pieters is one of ten students from Loeriesfontein that is studying with the help of Khobab Wind Farm’s bursary programme. In fact, all recipients of the fund come from Loeriesfontein High School, which means that the fund is able to make a significant impact on the community.
“The bursary has really had a positive impact on my life. Without access to this funding I wouldn’t be able to study at all or achieve my life goals. The bursary is paving the way to bigger and better things and motivates me to work even harder,” said Anna Pieters, who is currently a second year student, studying towards a B.ED Foundation Phase at CPUT.
Six new bursaries were awarded to mostly first year students during 2019, providing a substantial penetration, considering that the bursary only launched in 2018. The programme which is aimed at providing opportunities for local youth, has a long term goal of becoming STEM focused.
“The plan is for this tertiary bursary programme to eventually focus on STEM subjects, such as engineering, accounting and sciences, but until the mathematics and science base grows amongst tertiary school leavers, we are committed to providing opportunities to as many community members as is possible, without being limiting or prescriptive,” said Vanessa Fredericks Economic Development Manager for Khobab Wind Farm.
Maygon Meyer, who is now a second year student studying towards a BA in Accounting at Stellenbosch University, as part of this programme, has stayed on course despite difficulties and challenges linked to integrating into large universities. “Everything is going well with my studies, although it’s not always easy. There are a lot of challenges, but if it wasn’t difficult, it wouldn’t have been worth it”.
The wind farms’ education development programme primarily supports foundation phase and maths and science teachers in primary and high schools in Loeriesfontein. “These subjects are considered critical for our country’s economy, and through this support we would like to see an improvement in maths and science outcomes amongst learners, and eventually an increase in the numbers of learners opting to study maths and science in the senior grades,” added Fredericks.
The bursary programme is promoted to Grades 10 to 12 at Loeriesfontein High School and is available to applicants wishing to pursue studies at university or technical college, and is not limited to any field of study. The purpose of this is to enhance capabilities and provide opportunities to as many community members as is possible, without being limiting or prescriptive.
The single requirement is that the student needs to be a resident of Loeriesfontein, to ensure that this community benefits directly. “The student needs to be a resident of Loeriesfontein, they need to have matriculated well enough to qualify for acceptance into a college or university, the joint family income needs to meet a set threshold; and in balancing demand versus budget the allocations will always be made on academic merit,” explained Fredericks.
The bursary covers the full financial obligations of the tertiary degree, from first to final year, assuming that the student passes each year to qualify for funding in the following year. It is a full bursary that covers tuition, accommodation, books, travel to and from the institution, meals etc.
The 2021 bursary applications open in September this year and will be promoted at Loeriesfontein High School. Application forms are also available from the wind farm’s project office.