Durban - Grades 11 and 12 mark the twilight of one’s basic education career and with it, the start of the scramble for tertiary education that is costly and out of reach for many.
To try to address this problem, the non-profit organisation Hollywood Foundation this month announced its 2024 bursary programme, the Future is Bright, with the slogan “Sizofunda Sonke” or “We will all learn/we will all study”.
The launch for 2024 applications ‒ open to all South African citizens ‒ at the Hollywoodbets Buildings in uMhlanga, Durban, was attended by representatives from the Hollywood Foundation, Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation, pupils from various high schools within KwaZulu-Natal, and previous bursary recipients.
The foundation said the programme aimed to provide the opportunity for recipients to complete their tertiary education, and gain the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to obtain employment.
Since 2020, the Hollywood Foundation has collaborated with the Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation, an organisation founded by actress and philanthropist Nomzamo Mbatha, and has supported more than 1 000 students in various fields.
Hollywood Foundation’s bursary specialist Nontobeko Khuzwayo said: “Extensive planning has gone into ensuring a successful rollout of the programme. The 2022/23 cohort achieved a pass rate of 79%, a significantly good pass rate considering the many challenges the students faced.”
Northlands Girls’ High School was among the schools at the launch. Grade 12 head Francois Louis said it was a great initiative and much needed for Grade 12 pupils.
“The opportunity to study at a tertiary institution is something that most pupils strive for and this initiative makes it possible financially,” Louis said, adding that the Hollywood Foundation had visited their school in February and informed them of this “wonderful opportunity”.
Grade 12 pupil Olwethu Sosibo said: “It was an honour to be present at the launch of the bursary programme, to celebrate the foundations’ contribution to the development of the underprivileged youth in our country.'”
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education head of communications Muzi Mahlambi said the department was unaware of the launch.
In line with education and training, the Hollywood Foundation aims to encourage students across the country and bridge the gap between high school and tertiary education.
The Independent on Saturday