Province makes R18-million available to assist students

JANUARY 7, 2016

The Eastern Cape provincial government has set aside R18-million through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), to support needy students at Higher Education institutions this year.

Speaking at an award ceremony in East London on Wednesday where the province’s top achieving matrics were honoured, Premier Phumulo Masualle said the funds would go a long way in helping more students gain access to tertiary institutes, after the province again posted the lowest pass mark (56.8%) for 2015.

“We are truly not proud of where we are, and we realise that it would take a lot of work to change this situation,” Masualle said.

“This might call for things to be done differently from what we have been used to, but we simply cannot repeat [these results]. We have to work differently if we want to achieve a changed environment”.

The pass mark, which dropped from 65.4% in 2014, also revealed significant declines in the provinces’ three best performing districts with Cradock dipping 11.3% to 71.6%, Uitenhage falling from 75.5% to 69%, and Port Elizabeth down 8.3% to 66%.

“In the next few days we will be meeting with the Department to work out a package of responses on how we move forward from this,” Masualle continued.

“With the re-opening of schools next week, I want to remind everyone that education is a socialite matter and that we should all be there to make sure that we confront some of these obstacles to guarantee that our schooling is hassle free”.