'You're not going to varsity'
Should students be encouraged to pay for themselves or skip varsity altogether?
Times have been tough financially for most people and we know how that affects family life. It's a new year and we have so much planned for ourselves and our families. The matric results have just been released and the beginning of the year can really be an exciting time, but not for everyone. With the matric results released, some kids will unfortunately not be furthering their studies due to lack of money.

So many students with great potential will miss the opportunity to go and study at varsity and some will actually never get to see the university door. I know that there are so many options out there but some kids will be so disappointed by the financial situation at home or some will not get to explore the alternatives. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it can be when a parent has to break such news to the child. The disappointed look in their eyes, when they look up to you as a parent to provide and now you look like you have failed them.

Real-life stories

Monica is a mother of four, this is her story.

"I am a single mother and I tried to save for my son to go to varsity but I am unfortunately unable to take him to varsity. I hope that he can perhaps get a job and later further his studies. What makes me sad is knowing that he did well during the year but my financial situation does not allow him to go to university and study for his career of choice. His father is not supporting us financially and I am taking care of the kids alone on a domestic workers’ salary."
I'm sure that this is not the first time you've heard such stories but sometimes I wonder whether to blame the parent or the child in such cases. I know that in some cases children expect their parents to do everything for them and wonder whether kids also do enough to help in the financial situation at home. Look for part time jobs etc. In other cases maybe the parents leave the situation up until it's a bit too late for the kids to look for other options.

Thabang is 19 and recently finished school.

"I wrote my matric and passed in 2011 but was unable to further my studies and it was sad and tough. Seeing my friends going to varsity while I stayed at home was not easy at all even though I did well. When they got back home and talked about varsity life I had nothing to share but I am hopeful that something will come up and I can also get a chance to better my life. I understand the financial situation at home and know that my mom is trying her best. I am also looking for part time jobs in the meantime and will try and save for my studies but I have not lost hope."

I know that as parents we try our best but sometimes we just cannot make everything happen for our kids and maybe it is time that entrepreneurship be encouraged at schools so that students see it as an alternative to going to varsity. To those kids who are not furthering their studies all I can say is, do not lose hope!

Should students be encouraged to pay for themselves or skip varsity altogether? Leave us a comment!

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