National 10.1.2017 01:55 pm

There is help for poor students – Dlamini

Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: DoC

Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: DoC

Following the removal of the ‘means test’ for financial aid eligibility, there should be no hindrance to poor students when they pursue their chosen careers, she said.

Thousands of students who depend on government’s social grants are now eligible to further their studies after passing their national senior certificate examinations, said Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Tuesday.

“Despite the conditions of our vulnerable children, 41 percent managed to receive a bachelor’s pass, which gives them entry for any tertiary education. The majority of the learners who obtained a bachelor’s pass were from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng,” Dlamini told reporters at a media briefing in Pretoria.

“These results are very important because they show that 83 percent of the grant recipients are eligible to further their studies for either a diploma or a degree. This information is vital particularly for Nsfas (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) as these students should automatically qualify for funding to further their studies at institutions of higher learning.”

She said following the removal of the “means test” for financial aid eligibility, there should be no hindrance in the poor students when they pursue their chosen careers.

Dlamini said that of the 674 620 full-time learners who were registered for the national senior certificate last year, 188 758 were social grant beneficiaries.

“Out of this total, 178 411 grant beneficiaries actually wrote their examinations – which is 95 percent [of the 188 758]. This suggests that over 10 000 dropped out of school before sitting for their final examinations. We commit to investigating reasons for this dropout,” she said.

“I am very pleased to announce that the girl child continues to take all the opportunities given to her by government. We want to report that 112 409 of the total number of social grant learners who wrote matric were female and they live in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Of most concern to us is that 66 002 were boys.”

Every month, the department of social development, through its SA Social Security Agency distributes over R11 billion worth of social grants to the “most vulnerable and poor” across South Africa.

“Every month, more than 12 million children receive social grants. This is the investment that the taxpayer, through the South African government, is making in the future of the children,” said Dlamini.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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