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Implementation Evaluation of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme (FLBP)

The FLBP was established in 2007 with the goal of attracting greater numbers of students into initial teacher education (ITE) programmes in South African universities. High-achieving students are given generous full-cost bursaries to undertake ITE programmes in priority education phases and subject areas to address both supply and quality issues in the education system. In return, recipients of the bursary are expected to teach in public schools for a period equal to the number of years they have received funding.

JET Education Services was contracted by the Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation (DPME) and Department of Basic Education (DBE) to conduct an implementation evaluation of the FLBP over the period 2007 to 2012. 

The FLBP falls within the mandate of the DBE as a key deliverable as indicated in the Strategic Plan 2011-2014 and the Action Plan to 2014. Goal 14 of the Action Plan to 2014 compels the DBE to: “attract in each year a new group of young, motivated and appropriately trained teachers into the teaching profession”

The programme is large-scale: during the period covered by the evaluation (2007-2012) the FLBP funded 23,392 students, representing on average 15% of the total ITE enrolment over the period. It is also complex, involving a large number of stakeholders with different roles and responsibilities. 

The main purpose of the evaluation was to assess the FLBP's effectiveness, measure the programme against its key objectives and intended outcomes, identify strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations to improve the programmes' functioning. The evaluation included: examining the appropriateness of the current design; assessing programme results; conducting a detailed assessment of FLBP management and administrative systems, processes and procedures; assessing the FLBP's sustainability; and making recommendations for programme improvement, including advising on the future measurable impact assessment of the FLBP.

The evaluation reports can be found on the DPME's website: Implementation Evaluation of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme