MUT empowers LO teachers so they can help learners with University applications

LO teachers with MUT staff during the second day of the workshop

Please take this message to the learners to avoid the January disasters. This was said by Sthembile Maphumulo-Ndlovu, Schools Liaison Officer to Phumelela Circuit teachers and  Umbumbulu Circuit during the LO Teachers Forum workshop that took place from 21-22 May 2024, at the University’s North Campus. The University’s Department of Marketing and Communications’ Stakeholder Relations division organised the workshop to arm the Life Orientation teachers with the knowledge needed by the Grade 12 learners when they apply for enrolment with higher education institutions. Maphumulo-Ndlovu went to town, explaining in detail what the problems were with applications, and what the solutions are. “There are cases where a learner with a good pass symbol would not be accepted to a university simply because they did not fill in the application correctly,” said Maphumulo-Ndlovu. She added that learners needed to be very careful when they apply for enrolment. “Do not send a wish list. Only put in what is required, and what you are studying. Everything must be in order so the Central Applications Office (CAO) system will work with you. If you put in a wish list, the system will reject you,” she said.

Among the problematic issues that Maphumulo-Ndlovu highlighted was the attitude of learners towards certain subjects. She said learners should think about what they are studying in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. It is not use wanting to study Physics and Mathematics just because they are ‘highly regarded’ when you know that you know that you are not doing well in those subjects, but can do well in streams,” said Maphumulo-Ndlovu.

The CAO’s Mbali Sibeko gave the LO teachers details of what the CAO does. She emphasized the need to do fill in application form correctly so they would be no problems. This included the necessary documents, like the Grade 12 results, and the South African ID. She said they receive large numbers of applications for the four KwaZulu-Natal higher education institutions that recruit their students via the CAO. MUT is one those institutions and attracts a lot of applicants. The others are the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban University of Technology, and the University of Zululand. Sibeko told the LO teachers that the CAO does not make selections; it is the higher education institutions that does, she said.

The workshop went a long way to addressing the concerns that the teachers had.

Manciya, a Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture, and Khumalo, a Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, told the teachers the finer details of what happens when they select students for the departments. Manciya is a selector for his department.

Both Maphumulo-Ndlovu and Sibeko clarified to the teachers some problematic areas with applying through the CAO. Some of these problems are what happens with the old results that are in the system. They stay there forever, they are not deleted, they both said. What happens when there are two sets of results in the system, as in the case where a learner had to upgrade their results? The system will choose the best marks, they said.