Human Rights activist, Malcolm X once said that “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Many of the children from Boikagong Secondary School in Rustenburg have never even travelled outside the dusty streets of their town, and even though the school’s class of 2022 obtained a 92,8% pass rate, which is impressive considering the challenges many of them face, for some, it’s hard to dream for more.
Nomonde Magibile and Desmond Chauke from the Heartlines Values & Money (V&M) team drove just under two and a half hours from Johannesburg to meet a group of 90 matrics from the school and help them learn how they can use what they have to study further. For some of the learners, who are aged between 17 and 21, matric is where it ends. Most have no aspirations beyond getting their certificate and looking for a job to support their families. So the idea of learning how they could possibly assist their parents and help save towards their university registration fees – in case they change their minds about furthering their education – seemed like a far-fetched and unattainable reality. Even though some of them rely on the R480 social grant, our V&M team showed them creative ways they could utilise this money in order to start a culture of saving.
Omphemetse Mooketsi, a 17-year-old matriculant, says that she wants to study law but she doesn’t know if her parents will be able to afford it if she doesn’t qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS): “I am not aware of any other financial aid schemes other than NSFAS, if I don’t qualify then I have to give up my dream of becoming a lawyer.”
Saving, even with a grant
NSFAS received 906 429 applications for the 2022 academic year, while only 691 432 students received those funds. But the student funding scheme is notorious for late payments, so if even they are accepted, how can students survive the first few months of varsity life? V&M facilitator Nomonde advises students to start saving at least 10% to 15 % of their grant money so that they can make up for the registration shortfall when NSFAS fails to pay out on time. She says, “Imagine how excited your parents will be and how seriously they’ll take your dreams if you show up with almost half of your registration money. They’ll know just how dedicated you are to succeeding and pursuing your dreams.”
Desmond ended off the session by telling the matriculants that even though their environment expects them to finish matric and go straight into the job market, they have other options at their disposal.
Life does not have to “end” with a Higher Certificate and a career someone is not proud of just because they failed to plan ahead. The smallest saving tools can help students build the life of their dreams.
Bonolo is a multimedia journalist and content creator at Heartlines. She has experience in online and radio media production and helps spread the Heartlines message on multiple platforms.
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