The bank awarded bursaries to Namalwa Amakali, a second year Bachelor in Forensic Science student at the University of Free State as well as Muningandu Tjingaete and Petros Kambinda, who are second and third year Cyber Security students at NUST, respectively, and Lara Bartholomae, a first year Actuarial Science student at Stellenbosch University.
Speaking to the students at a bursary award handover ceremony in Windhoek, Standard Bank Head of HR, Isdore Angula, said the bursary recipients are almost guaranteed employment at Standard Bank, which employs close to 2,000 people in Namibia and 50,000 across the globe.
He said the recipients were carefully selected out of over 1,000 students that had applied for financial assistance.
Angula warned the students that they should focus on their studies to avoid failing modules which will see them forfeiting their bursaries.
“A number of previous recipients didn’t take advantage of the opportunity from Standard Bank and they redirected the funds from the bank to socialising and ended up failing. The bursary conditions are clear that you forfeit the bursary if you fail, so please don’t end up burdening your parents,” Angula said.
He emphasized that Standard Bank will not allow the students to change their courses midstream because the bank had reason for sponsoring a particular course.
The bursary recipients are expected to undergoing internship training during school holidays at the different Standard Bank branches and departments across the country, where they will also be paid an allowance.
As part of the bursary scheme agreement, Standard Bank will pay for all the students’ tuition and living expenses, including a monthly allowance, accommodation costs and an additional four flights per year to students studying outside the country.
Amakali said she wants to obtain a medical degree specialising in forensic pathology upon completion of her bachelor’s degree.
“Forensic science is a field that is overlooked in the country and in most cases when forensic scientists are needed they are brought in from other countries. I want to motivate other students to take up the same studies because instead of having to bring in expatriates it’s best to use the resources in our country,” Amakali said.
She said most people in the country are not exposed to the course. “They don’t know what it is about because most kids want to become doctors or engineers, and it’s something that I want to change. I only know of one forensic scientist in Namibia, Dr Ludick.”
Amakali advised other students who want to have a future in forensic science to study science subjects.
“They should be hard working, driven and they shouldn’t commit any crime or have a police record and they should not be afraid of seeing dead bodies,” she added.
She said she was motivated to take up forensic science after watching a lot of CSI programmes on TV. “I just fell in love with what they were doing.”
She then thanked Standard Bank “for the opportunity to finish my studies which costs N$43,000 per year”.
Tjingaete said she was forced to seek assistance from Standard Bank because of financial problems at home.
“My mother is the father figure in our family. I never had support from my dad who unfortunately passed on two years ago. We are a lot for my mom, so it’s quiet hard for her to support us. We are four kids.
“I applied for the bursary to get financial support and because of the bank’s Graduate Programme. I would like to give back to the bank once I am done with my studies by working for them,” Tjingaete said.
She thanked Standard Bank for giving her the opportunity to further her studies.
“I am glad to be one of the lucky students. We are a lot of students that suffer from financial problems and this causes a lot of us to drop out of school and go work as casuals just to save up for tuition fees.”
She said the bursary will act as motivation to her because it’s not easy to get financial assistance.
“This will help me academically because I don’t have to think about financial issues. I only need to concentrate on my studies.”
Kambinda said university education has become expensive so that “a person like me is not able to withstand the situation”.
“My background does not have financial stability so even if my family put all their hands on deck, they will not be able to pay for my studies. My mother is unemployed and my dad is a stock controller at a furniture shop. I would like to thank Standard Bank for giving me this opportunity because it means that I am able to do my internship here at the bank,” Kambinda said.