With the closing date of the 2020 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) applications looming, NSFAS will be visiting hometowns of prospective students who still have not applied for the government bursary scheme.
The purpose of the intensified outreach programmes is to reach rural and remote communities, as well focus on areas with low number of applications received thus far, leading up to the closing date of November 30, 2019.
Annually between September and November NSFAS agents travel around the country focusing on the rural areas in the local and district municipalities to give information and opportunities to applicants for funding at public TVET colleges and public. At each event, representatives from the Scheme conduct a briefing on the application process, verify the supporting documents, and help each applicant to access a computer and apply using the self-help online portal.
“We cannot ignore the fact that there are disparities in our communities, therefore government needs to take its services to the communities. The power of education can change a series of generations”, said NSFAS Administrator Dr Randall Carolissen.
Carolissen was speaking during an outreach programme facilitated by the Lynette and Peter Zwane Foundation in Ugu District, KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Carolissen visited three application centres on Saturday to support the teams that are already in the field. NSFAS in partnership with the Lynette and Peter Zwane Foundation will conduct a series of out outreach programmes to reach deep rural and remote areas in KZN.
NSFAS has receives tremendous support from religious groups, local and provincial government, government entities and Non-Governmental Originations (NGO) in an effort to reach out to communities who need financial assistance but unable to access NSFAS funding due to lack of internet access or application resources in their areas.
Over the next two weeks NSFAS agents will be deployed across all nine provinces with a special focus in Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape, and Western Cape due to the low number of applications received in these provinces.
To date NSFAS has received 348 240 applications nationwide, with KwaZulu Natal (100 130), Gauteng (70 919), and Limpopo (54 601) Provinces continuing to lead with the highest number of applications received. So far only 1001 applications have been received from people living with disability.
Applicants who do not have access to computer facilities and smart phones, can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices, local libraries, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Thusong Centres, and Department of Basic Education (DBE) District Teacher Development Centres national wide.