Friday, 31 May 2013

Year Of The Artisan &Skills-Based Education: How To Become A Plumber

This year has been declared the “Year of the Artisan and Skills-Based Education” by government, to promote the diplomas and courses offered by Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa. This month we will be looking at what it means to become a plumber and what you will have to study to qualify as one.

Plumbers fix and replace damaged pipework. They also install new bathrooms, taps and sinks at large construction sites, private homes or in large buildings such as offices, schools or public buildings. 
Their projects can either consist of smaller tasks or larger assignments that might take several days or weeks to complete.

As a plumber in South Africa, you have a variety of job opportunities including working for companies that operate in the construction industry, or specific agencies that specialise in contracting out plumbers to private households or companies. You could also become an independent contractor and work for yourself.

We have three reasons why you should think of becoming a plumber:
  1. You can earn good money
  2. Your skill is always in demand
  3. You have a choice of either becoming an independent contractor or you can work on construction sites.

What you have to do to become a plumber
Plumbers require specialized training in order to operate as a qualified artisan to ensure you comply with local and industry laws and standards. This is moderated and monitored by the National Building Regulators.
There are two ways that you can become a plumber:

  1. You can work as a plumbing assistant and do a two year apprenticeship. After your two years, you will be eligible to write your trade test certificate in plumbing.
  2. You can complete a two year learnership at a Construction Education & Training Authority (CETA) accredited training college or school that consists of a variety of training modules. After completing your two year learnership, you will be eligible to write your trade test certificate in plumbing.

If you choose to do the two year apprenticeship, you can always do a short course to ensure that you have the practical knowledge required to be able to pass your trade test. Whether you study a short course or a full time programme, make sure your college or school is CETA accredited.

There is a complete list of schools and colleges listed on CETA website. These schools and colleges adhere to the CETA standards and comply with their principles to ensure the best standards in plumbing.

It might also be a good idea to talk to a plumber to find out how they enjoy their day-to-day activities and to gauge whether it is something that you would like to do.

You can contact Eduloan as soon as you have decided which school or training college you would like to study at and one of our consultants will be able to give you all the information you require to get the financial assistance to realize your dream of becoming a plumber. For more information or to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wanting More

Lerato is the winner of our April Not just a Student number competition. See her winning blog below on our April theme: Wanting more.

I'm a first year student at University of South Africa, studying towards a bachelor’s degree in intermediate and senior phase Education.

The reality of life began after matric in 2012. I wanted more for the future, I began to see life with the naked eye, where I made decisions that will determine my future, where my social-life was nowhere to be found. In the words of my former Mathematics teacher, Ms Mabudu, "focus less on friends, after matric all will take their own path".

As a part-time student it’s never really an easy task, its takes someone with discipline and who knows how to manage their time, but after all I wanted something more challenging. At first, attending workshops with students old enough to be my parents and even grandparents, I felt like "Oh do I really belong here?” But gradually all turned out good, socialising with them helped me to develop mentally.

I always wanted to be in a field dealing with children, but didn't know what career to choose, until grade 12, my former English teacher Mr. N.A Mapodile, asked me to assist him in teaching. That was a life time opportunity! I feel so unique, because most people my age run away from this career and I'm chasing it.

I am not qualified to be a teaher yet, but that doesn't stop me because I want more. I recently joined the Gogo reading project in Daveyton Intermediate School. We offer our time to read books to learners every Friday. The people I'm working with are all qualified teachers, some even retired and that makes me so unique! I'm the youngest of all of them, studying and looking for experience.

I use every opportunity I get because I always want more. I do whatever it takes to be where I want to be and enjoy exploring things that will help me in future.

Student life prepares me for the future, I learn to be independent, how to approach challenges and problems and to take responsibility for my actions.


Lerato P Selepe

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Early Applications For Your First Year Of Tertiary Studies – Don’t Leave It Too Late

Many schools, parents, colleges and universities encourage 2014 students to apply to their chosen tertiary institutions as early as possible. You might be thinking “what is the fuss about?”, mainly because you have tons of 2013 Matric commitments, responsibilities, activities and studies that you might want to focus on. Many colleges and universities open for applications in April and application deadlines can come as soon as 30 July. Here are 6 reasons to get you applying now:

Reason 1: Faster Application Feedback
Because there are less applications being submitted to the administration office, you might get a response a bit sooner. If you apply in June, your application may be submitted along with thousands of other students’ and you might get a delayed response.

Reason 2: Pressure
If you receive early acceptance to your chosen college or university, you will have one less thing to worry about – and an important one at that - when you are trying to prepare for your preliminary or final exams.

Reason 3: Applying For Accommodation
Many colleges and universities only consider applications for student housing and accommodation, once you have been accepted at the institution. If you are planning to study at a college or university away from home, you might need to take the time to plan and make sure you apply early enough to get a spot in student housing or accommodation.

Reason 4: Options
By applying early, you can ensure that you have options available. Many colleges and universities will allow you to change your degree or diploma after being accepted as long as you fulfill the requirements. And, if you change your mind completely, you still have time to do something about it.

Reason 5: Running Out Of Spots
Universities and colleges often have a limited number of places available in the program. This often depends on resources. By applying early, you can be sure that “we are unfortunately full for the current year of study” will not be a reason featured on your application feedback.

Reason 6: Financial Assistance

As soon as you have a letter of acceptance from your college or university, you will be able to contact us to find out how we can assist you. We can give you a study loan to cover your study fees as well as accommodation, textbooks and even a laptop or tablet.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Going To Grade 10 Next Year?

Here’s what’s vital for you to know when picking your subjects

So you’re in grade nine and you can’t wait to choose the subjects that you would like to study from grade 10 to 12. Take time to stop and think carefully about which subjects you are about to choose.

There are three very good reasons to think carefully before you select your subjects:
1.       Your chosen subjects should remain the same throughout grade 10 to 12
2.       You might require certain subjects in order to be legible for a specific course
3.       It is always a good idea to keep your ability or interest in mind when selecting subjects

Your subject choice will impact your future, so bear this in mind when you consider what subjects to choose. These subjects include:
·         Two languages (one should be your home language and the other should be a first additional language)
·         Mathematics or mathematical literacy
·         Life orientation
·         Three other subjects that you can choose from – this list could be up to as many as 29 subjects depending on your school  or college.

Spend time researching so you are well informed before you make your decision. Here is a list of learning fields and the required subjects for each, to give you an idea of the kind of subjects you might need to take. Keep in mind that you must register for a total of 7 subjects and at least one language must be a Home Language.

Learning Fields
  • 2 Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Life Orientation
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Geography
  • 2 Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Life Orientation
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • 2 of the following:
Physical Sciences
Life Sciences
Human And Social
  • 2 Languages
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Geography
  • History
  • Life Sciences
Business Commerce
And Management Studies
  • 2 Languages
  • Mathematics orMathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Economics

Take time to chat to one of your career counselors at school or take an aptitude test to establish your skills and interest before making any decisions. You can complete our free Career Aptitude test to assess your skills and interests, which will give you an indication of the type of career that you are best fitted for. We cannot guarantee that this fun assessment will match you with your perfect career, but it is a wonderful tool to narrow down your choices and open avenues that you might never have thought to explore!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Getting ready for matric exams?

What you need to succeed

At Eduloan we aim to unlock your potential, so we have compiled a list of things that you can keep in mind while getting ready for your matric exams:

Study Tip One
Focus on time management! Compile a study schedule. Plan your time in advance and be realistic. Everyone is different so there is no prescribed schedule, but make sure that you don’t start too early and risk burning out, or start studying too late and then run out of time to prepare sufficiently. Listen to your body clock, this will allow you to establish when you should be studying (during the day or at night). You have to break up your studies to make sure you are concentrating and it is also good to work towards a goal and then to reward yourself if you do.

Study Tip Two
Get your hands on a study guide. A study guide is also a good resource to getting insight into the way questions are asked. Study guides sum up the curriculum pretty well and often include sample questions after each chapter.  Chat to your teachers about where you can get these.

Study Tip Three
Start a study group. By setting up a time to meet you study towards a deadline. Whether you give each member in the group a topic or whether you use the group to discuss certain topics, it is a good way for you to alternate your study schedule and gain additional knowledge from others as well.

Study Tip Four
Ask friends and family for past papers. You can also buy these online or from various book stores. Past papers are great for getting used to the way in which certain information is questioned in exams. Practice these to test your knowledge and to make sure you are not caught off guard just because a question is posed in a different manner.

Study Tip Five
Select your study space carefully. Whether it is at a library, at home or in an empty class room at school, make sure that you have all the resources and textbooks at hand so that you do not have to interrupt your studies. It could be a good idea to make sure that your study location is quiet and that you won’t be interrupted by family members, loud noises or peers.

Study Tip Six
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers questions. Many teachers will give you time to ask them questions or to attend additional revision classes. Make use of this resource!

Study Tip Seven
Make sure you complete any administration requirements like tertiary applications and student loan applications well in advance of your exam period so that you are not distracted or unnecessarily stressed. Keep in mind that most universities and colleges open applications in April and some close as early as 30 June. You do not have to wait for your preliminary exam results as many of them only accept your grade 11 end-of-year exam results. You can also apply for your study loan early to make sure all your focus is exactly where it should be – on passing your Matric exams.

For more information and to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website (, like our page on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@EduloanSA).

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Getting The Right Career Advice

Why it’s important to decide what you want to study early

From the day you can choose your subjects, you are constantly made aware of how your choices will affect your future. Even if you have chosen a career, it can be difficult to decide on the right subjects or courses to support your career path. Starting the process early and planning in advance will make sure that you don’t have to catch-up or run into dead-ends.

Deciding on a career
Deciding on a career might be a daunting task. Visit your school or college’s career counselor, who will be able to help you with your decisions. You can also do some thinking yourself! Ask yourself what your interests are and if you have any skills or personal strengths? By recognizing your interests, skills and strengths, you might be able to identify or narrow down your options.

You can complete our free Career Aptitude test to assess your skills and interests, which will give you an indication of the type of career that you are best fitted for. We cannot guarantee that this fun assessment will match you with your perfect career, but it is a wonderful tool to narrow down your choices and open avenues that you might never have thought to explore!

Speak to family or friends already working in your chosen industry. Ask them questions about their day-to-day activities, their responsibilities, what they enjoy and perhaps even what they do not enjoy about their job.

It might be worth contacting a company or business and commit to job shadowing or work experience. Job shadowing and work experience will give you a chance to observe day-to-day activities (for example, you might not expect a teacher to do as much administration).

Choosing the right subjects, degree, diploma or qualification
Once you know what career you would like to follow, you can speak to a career advisor to make sure that you choose the correct subjects required to meet a degree or diploma’s prerequisites (you might need mathematics and science for certain careers). Many careers also involve specific qualifications to make sure that you have the knowledge and skills required to do the job (for example, you cannot just decide to become an electrician if you do not have knowledge of important laws and safety standards).

What if I changed my mind?
You always have the option of changing your mind. Many people choose to change their career paths after working for some years or choose to further their studies to take on more responsibility (a plumber might choose to do a business management course to help him become a manager and eventually owning his own business, for example). Keep in mind that you might have to go back to college or university and this process will take time and money.

Eduloan has a solution for full-time and part-time students and even offer you the opportunity to deduct your fixed monthly repayments from your salary. For more information and to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website (, 
like our page on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@EduloanSA).

Here are four tips for making study or career decisions
·         Identify career opportunities that suit your interests
·         Evaluate your skills and strengths
·         Research the prerequisites of your chosen career (do you need science or biology or do you need a certain qualification to make sure that you have the knowledge to practice in your field?)
·         Constantly develop skills and experience

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Matrics of 2013, Are You Prepared For 2014?

It’s your matric year and you are faced with tight deadlines - the looming exams, heaps of administrative paperwork, trying to enjoy time with family and friends, participating in extra-curricular activities as well as preparing for the Matric Dance. Whether you really want to enjoy your final year of school or whether you are looking forward to getting this year behind you, we have three steps to make sure that you are ready for 2014:

Step 1: Set Goals for Yourself
Matric is a busy year, most students aim to ensure they live in the moment while preparing for the future. Plan in advance and set yourself goals to make sure you keep up with everything you need to.
For example:
-       I want to summarise chapters 1 to 6 of my biology textbook by Friday
-       Make a list of institutions where I can study by 31 May 2013
-       I would like to achieve 5% more on my mathematics preliminary exam
Work towards these goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. This will help you to maintain balance and keep exam stress under control.

Step 2: Compile A Calendar To Mark Important Dates
By adding important dates to a calendar or diary, you can plan ahead and avoid missing deadlines or being caught off-guard, causing unnecessary stress. List important dates associated with your 2013 academic year as well as dates that mark deadlines that will affect your 2014 academic year:
For example:
-       Matric preliminary and final exam dates
-       Dates for university or college open day’s
-       University or college application deadlines
-       Entrance exam deadlines

Step 3: Understand What Comes Next

Visit your career counselor at school or make contact with a university or college career counselor to discuss your options. A career counselor can also help if you do not know what courses to take to get all your credits for a certain degree, diploma or certification. You might choose to take an aptitude test (ap·ti·tude test. noun. A test designed to determine a person's ability in a skill or field of knowledge) to assess your interests and skills. Make use of Eduloan’s free Career Aptitude test to assess your skills and interests, which will give you an indication of the type of career that you are best fitted for. We cannot guarantee that this fun assessment will match you with your perfect career, but it is a wonderful tool to narrow down your choices and open avenues that you might never have thought to explore!


Once you know what you would like to study, you can research tertiary institutions to find out what courses are on offer, what the application prerequisites are and what process you need to follow in order to apply (some courses might require certain subjects, community service hours or a portfolio for example).

Once you have made these decisions, you can contact Eduloan to discuss a study loan that is tailored to your needs. Applying for a study loan early, means that you will be able to gain approval before your registration fees are due, easing the pressure during your final exams. We even offer you a chance to apply for a loan to cover your registration fee to make sure all the costs associated with your studies are covered!

The checklist below will make sure that you stay on top of your administration for 2014:
þ I have completed the Eduloan aptitude test and visited a career counselor to get the career advice I require to unlock my potential
þ I have compiled a list of tertiary institutions that offer the courses I require for my chosen field of study and selected the ones that I would like to apply to
þ I have researched the prerequisites for my degree, diploma or qualification and I meet all of these requirements (remember that every university, collage or training school will have their own application requirements)
þ I have all the open days, application deadlines and entry exam dates noted in my diary
þ I have completed all of the application forms and prepared all of the supporting documents, portfolios, community service or work experience required for applying for my line of study
þ I have applied to the student residence of my choice
þ I have contacted Eduloan to speak to a consultant about personalising my study loan to ensure that I have funds to cover my study fees, accommodation, my textbooks and a laptop or tablet

We wish you all the best for your matric exams and hope that these tips will help you prepare to the best of your ability.