19 August 2012

South Africa: Learners Urged to Apply to Higher Institutions Early

Pretoria — High school learners should apply for admission to post-schooling institutions early to avoid disappointments, says Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana.

Manana was addressing students at the Pretoria University Mamelodi campus on Saturday as part of the "Apply Now Campaign".

"The message is clear: learners should choose their career paths early so that the kind of subjects you choose leads you to your desired careers.

"Through this campaign, we are encouraging learners to apply for admission to post-schooling institutions of their choice early, so that they can avoid disappointments, which usually accompany late applications," he said.

The Apply Now Campaign is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education and Training, in collaboration with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Through this campaign, the department aims to reduce the long queues and some of the chaos that generally takes place at most of the universities at the beginning of each academic year.

According to Manana, the department is also aiming to use the campaign to reach out to every Grade 9 to 12 learners in all the 6000 public high schools in the country.

He said what triggered the campaign was the realisation by government that not all learners in the schools receive proper Career Guidance and thereby miss all opportunities available to them.

"It is important for you to know before you leave school what study options are available for you so that you can make correct career decisions.

"In this case, we encourage you to talk to your teachers and to your Guidance or Life Orientation Teachers, so that you get the right advice. We have also invited experienced persons and organisations who will give you advice on how you should choose your desired careers," he said.

Manana said he had no doubt that the impact of the campaign which is creating awareness of career options and application procedures to be followed for Post-School Education and Training is hugely felt.

The campaign complements the current Khetha radio programme - which runs on 10 SABC African languages radio stations, including Afrikaans.

In order to reach as many students as possible in the campaign, the department is not only focusing on face-to-face contact with the students, but it is also utilising the social network platforms to distribute all Apply Now Campaign messages through M-xit and Facebook.

The department is also distributing the "Apply Now" booklets which cover career choice and options, opportunities for learning at Further Education and Training Colleges, Universities and Universities of Technology, funding, scarce skills and public service training opportunities and entrepreneurship to mention but a few.

The deputy minister also urged those who have already applied and guaranteed admission at institutions of higher learning to study very hard.

"To those of you who have already applied to institutions of higher learning and have been accepted or offered a place, I would urge you to keep on working hard to ensure that you get positive matric results to enable you to gain access to these institutions," he said.

Manana said the campaign has already been taken to seven provinces with the campaign and the plan is to visit the last two provinces, Limpopo and Mpumalanga in the coming weeks.

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