Sol Plaatjie University SRC and Feenix are crowdfunding for students. Photo: Pexels.
Sol Plaatjie University SRC and Feenix are crowdfunding for students. Photo: Pexels.

Sol Plaatjie University SRC’s crowdfunding for Education students to graduate

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Oct 29, 2021

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Funding for tertiary education and debts being incurred by students without funding, have been an ongoing concern for years, but the situation’s been exacerbated but the economic effects of Covid-19.

Many parents have been retrenched, companies are no longer offering bursaries and the government has scaled back on its funding for tertiary students.

This is why the Sol Plaatje University (SPU)’s Student Representative Council and crowdfunding Public Benefit Organisation, The Feenix Trust, have joined forces to support two education students, Jeffery and Boingotlo in need of money to secure their academic future.

SPU opened its doors in Kimberley in 2014 and is one of only two universities to take such an initiative. Despite the N Cape’s low tertiary education rate of 0,3% and high unemployment standing at 28.7%, SPU has seen a growth in undergraduate numbers from 1 875 to 2 174 in 2020, with 268 postgraduate students registered for the 2021 year.

Its commitment to good quality teaching and learning has seen the university consistently produce among the best course passes and graduation rates in the country.

The SRC Ubuntu Campaign is aimed at nurturing this spirit of excellence in its students by providing financial support to those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves experiencing difficult financial situations.

Jeffrey is one of the undergraduates who is about to complete his first year at SPU. He chose education because he is passionate about working with the youth and firmly believes that change begins at grassroots-level.

“After my first year, I know this is my calling. Working hard is important, but unfortunately it is not enough - I need funds too. Completing my studies and landing a job will put me in a position to plough back into the community,” he said.

Boingotlo Motswagole of Kuruman in the Northern Cape and a first-generation university student in her family, says she’s come too far to give up now.

“I chose to study education because I want to have an impact on people’s lives. I wish to give back to the community through life-long learning and to make a difference in the South African educational system as an agent of change,” she says.

Jeffrey Mosese and Motswagola both pursued various avenues to find funding, but were, for the most part unsuccessful in securing adequate contributions that would see them through their studies. They found an alternative in Feenix.

Feenix CEO Leana de Beer said: “Currently the country has 410 000 teachers at 25 000 schools. The number of new teachers absorbed into our school system will have to increase from 23 000 now, to approximately 40 000 per year by 2030³. So, it is clear that our universities need to generate a steady pipeline of young educators if we are to meet this goal.”

But financial pressure to meet the costs that come with securing a degree is simply too much for many students.

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