Tsolo Agriculture in collaboration with Luneburg NGO and HWSETA is funding students from Luneburg to study Animal Health at Tsolo Agriculture & Rural Development Institute (TARDI) annually.
Last year young people from Luneburg, a very rural area in KwaZulu Natal were also funded for this programme, the funding included tuition fees, stipend and transportation costs as the College is situated in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. HWSETA decided to embark on this project because it wanted to improve the lives of people from rural area so that they can be empowered and be able to provide for their families.
In the previous years, all the admitted students were fully funded for a period of three years by HWSETA, in the next following years an annual funding with option of renewal was received by the institute on behalf of its students.
The diploma is a three-year course and on the last semester of the final year, the students go for their work integrated learning were they are placed in farms, abattoirs, livestock organisation and pharmaceutical companies for them to get more exposure and to experience the world of working in order to foster confidence and build skills and to ensure that they are able to meet the minimum day one competency of animal health.
Some of the students utilising the monthly stipend, were able to support their families. One student used the stipend to assist her parents with groceries at home and the other was helping his mom to build a house. Other students have enrolled for driving lessons utilising the stipend and this improved their employability as most adverts for animal health technicians require a person with a driver’s license. About eight students from the 2015 group were able to get permanent employment because of the driving skills.
According to Dr Nandipha Toyota Ndudane, the principal at TARDI says that the fact that students had an assured tuition fee alleviated some of their worries and freed their minds to focus on academics. This contributes to the improved performance of the institute over the years.
After the completion of this course, one can become an Animal Health Technician for the state, assisting with regulatory function especially with zoonotic disease or can be employed in research by laboratories and academic institution.
Dr Ndudane says that Animal Health is an interesting course and young people should look into it “It brings that interphase of animal care, environmental care and human care. It is a rewarding career where one gets to interact with many line functionaries in what is called OneHealth. During a disease outbreak for instance, disease epidemiology and traceability involves in the main animal health technicians. Extension work and disease control, patrolling of borders during disease outbreak, the animal technicians are at the centre of that”, she said.
Last modified: June 17, 2020