Youth scores a once-in-a-lifetime chance

2018-05-24 06:01

Zizipho Gijana (18) is one of the recipients of an education bursary totalling R1,3 million, handed over to deserving high school learners from six Cape Town schools two weeks ago .

An excited Gijana, a resident of Nomzamo and ormer learner at Khanyolwethu Secondary School, told City Vision she had pinned her hopes on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to further her studies.

The soft-spoken young woman is now enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in Human Life Sciences at Stellenbosch University.

Gijana and others are the latest beneficiaries of the Community Chest of the Western Cape and Thales South Africa’s “Fast Tracking Pathways to Success” programme, which started in 2014.

The annual event came just days after Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga conceded that government spending per pupil had decreased.

Motshakga was speaking ahead of her Budget Vote in Parliament, and was responding to Stellenbosch University research which showed government spending per pupil had declined by 8% between 2010 and 2017.

Gijana says she’s always dreamt of becoming a doctor. She has moved from her childhood home to Stellenbosch University to complete her studies.

“I was extremely happy when I heard that I have been afforded this opportunity to further my studies through this bursary,” says Gijana, adding that she is ready to take any challenge that she faces head-on.

“I feel privileged to be in the position I find myself in, as not everyone gets this kind of opportunity.”

Like most students, Gijana has struggled to adjust to the demands of varsity life. She told City Vision she has found it tough to adjust to attending a tertiary institution and the heavy workload, but she is up to the challenge.

“I believe perseverance and determination will see me through all the workload that is on my shoulders,” she said.

“One thing I tell myself is that I cannot be defeated by something that cannot speak.

“When things get tough, you should not give up. Persistence is the key.”

The bursaries range between R50 000 and R100 000 per student and will be used towards tertiary studies in the fields of science, mathematics and technology.

It was awarded to learners at Joe Slovo High, Khanyolwethu High, Malibu High, Forest Heights High, Sizimisele High and Kleinvlei High.

Community Chest CEO Lorenzo Davids believes unless more is done to invest in the youth, the country would face a very uncertain future.

“Through this programme, we aim to invest in young South Africans to make sure that nothing hinders them on their pathway to success,” he said. “It is in the country’s best interest to make sure they succeed.”


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