GET BURSARY Initiative
Because COSAT is a no-fee school, SERI requires funding for its GET bursary scheme. A single GET bursary can be regarded as an annual school fee, as would be required at almost all high-performing schools. Bursaries for COSAT students [GRADE 8 TO 12] are valued at R10000 per annum or R2500 per term. It must be emphasized that COSAT cannot perform at the highest level without a fee-equivalent for each learner at the school.
GET BURSARYThere are three types of GET bursaries that reflect the eventual career choices of the students:
- GET BUILDING: For learners with an interest in pursuing tertiary courses in Engineering and the Built Environment
- GET IT: For learners who wish to pursue IT, Science and Maths related tertiary studies, all of which require some competency in various aspects of IT
- GET LEARNING: For learners who wish to pursue studies in disciplines unrelated to Science and Maths.
It is interesting to reflect on the courses of study chosen by the 46 matriculants of 2010. [Their choices are fairly typical when compared to previous years.] Only two of the 46 matriculants are not pursuing tertiary studies in 2011. The rest are at academic universities. One of the two is doing a one-year learnership with Haw and Inglis, prior to studying Civil Engineering, with their financial backing. The other is working, but plans to study once family finances allow this.
- 11 are in fields relating to Engineering and the Built Environment.
- 26 are in other Science-related fields.
- 3 are studying pure Computer Science.
- 5 are in fields completely unrelated to Maths, Science and IT, specifically, Law, Languages and Journalism.
WHAT IS A GET BURSARY USED FOR?1. STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
This is a discretionary amount used to pay unforeseen costs for items directly benefitting one or more COSAT learner.
2. COSAT DEVELOPMENT
This is an allocation for the implementation of school-based initiatives that improve the quality of education offered by COSAT. It could be used for the following:
- Enrichment and remedial lessons
- Laboratory equipment for Science, Life Science and IT
- Implementation of extra-mural activities, e.g. chess, swimming, marimba etc.
- Resources for clubs and societies, e.g. debating, film society, robotics etc.
- Additional part-time and full-time staff, e.g. a Maths teacher, a library administrator, an IT tutor, occasional Maths and Science tutors, a secretary.
- Subsidy of wages for cleaning and cooking staff
- Costs relating to the annual eisteddfod, e.g. art and photography lessons, drama workshops, costumes etc.
- Costs relating to the house system
- Annual leadership weekend for learners in positions of leadership
- Any activities, items or manpower that improve the quality of education offered by COSAT
3. CAMPS AND EXCURSIONS
It is customary for COSAT learners to experience at least one weekend away during their time at the school. The focus of a camp depends on the needs of a particular grade. Each class should go on at least four day-excursions per year. Money should also be available facilitate outings for small groups of learners to specific places of interest.
4. CAREER-RELATED ACTIVITIES
These take place from the beginning of Term 3 in the Grade 11 year until the end of Term 2 in the Grade 12 year. The following must be budgeted for:
- Excursions to academic institutions and places of interest relating to career choice.
- Job-shadowing week [the last week of Term 4 in the Grade 11 year]
- Subsidy of benchmark tests and application fees, when necessary
5. TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE
This goes into a discretionary transport fund. Certain learners live far from the school and need a transport allowance. Depending on the distances and the modes of transport available, the prices vary considerably. The most expensive is R300 per month. Very often transport costs arise unexpectedly when small groups of learners or individuals are invited to participate in away-activities of educational value. The transport allowance fund is used on these occasions.
6. THE UNIFORM SUBSIDY
The COSAT uniform is of a very high quality and is very costly, even though it is bought directly from the suppliers and distributed at school. The initial outlay for one learner is the most expensive but there are costs every year. Once again, the uniform subsidy goes into a discretionary fund. This way, a percentage of the annual uniform cost is covered by the subsidy. The balance is paid by the learner. For new learners at the school there is a set, very reduced cost for a full uniform that has to be paid by the parent. In other years, there is reduced cost for each item.
The uniform consists of the following:
- A blazer with a badge and a tie
- A tartan skirt or bell-bottomed trousers for girls
- Charcoal-coloured trousers for boys
- A sleeveless jersey, specifically for COSAT
- A long-sleeved jersey, specifically for COSAT
7. THE DOMESTIC-SUPPORT PROGRAMME
This is a discretionary fund used to support individual students who live in particularly deprived home environments or who find themselves in temporary difficult circumstances. All learners are interviewed when they first register at COSAT to establish their home circumstances. If a learner is unable to pay for a uniform or stationery or anything else required at school, this fund is used to offer assistance.
8. THE SERI LIBRARY
The SERI library at COSAT plays a central role in the life of the school. It has a large body of stock, both fiction and non-fiction, and caters for learners with a very wide range of English language competency. Each class in the school has a library period each week and the English teachers work together with the librarian. The latter assists with the choice of appropriate reading matter for the different learners and the former ensure that book reviews are written and regularly hear oral book presentations. A library assistant is employed on a part-time basis to help with the administration of the library. The library component of each bursary is used in the following ways:
- To buy new stock on a regular basis
- To buy book-plastic and stationery
- To pay the monthly salary of the library assistant.
THE ALLOCATION OF BURSARY FUNDS WILL DIFFER SLIGHTLY, ACCORDING TO THE INTERESTS AND NEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL LEARNERS: FOR EXAMPLE, LEARNERS WHO FORESEE THEMSELVES PURSUING CAREERS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WILL BE GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPERIENCE IT-RELATED ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING
SERI, in consultation with the school principal and the two other COSAT staff members who are on the SERI board, will ensure that the GET bursary funds are properly allocated. A detailed project report with a budget breakdown of itemized expenses will be provided to funders before the end of each calendar year.
BURSARIES FOR COSAT STUDENTS [GRADE 8 TO 12](Calculated in Rands)
|Camps and Excursions||1000.00|
ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT CONTRIBUTIONS
These would need to be negotiated on a pro rata basis, as amounts would be dependent on the number of bursaries donated by a particular funder in relation to the number of learners in a grade.
Funders are requested to commit to funding learners from their arrival at the school until the end of their matriculation year. There are two points of entry at COSAT: Grade 8 and Grade 10 hence, three- and five-year bursaries are sought. For learners presently without bursaries, funding support would be required for shorter periods.