Ropafadzo Ndangariro Herald Reporter
Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Christopher Mushohwe has urged students who want to study outside the country to apply for scholarships through the Government to avoid being duped by bogus companies and individuals.
Speaking during a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Ahmad Erfanian yesterday, Dr Mushohwe said Government could only assist students who applied through formal channels.
“Students must apply formally to Government so that we put them on our budget,” he said. “They should not apply to bogus companies that promise them full scholarships, but when they get to their universities it’s a different story: it’s their marketing strategy.”
Dr Mushohwe said that Government would not cater for students that applied directly to universities.
“There are students who register online privately and get scholarships to attend universities abroad,” he said. “When they get to the university they realise that it can only offer 25 percent scholarship. They then come to us for assistance when they fail to sustain themselves.
“Children should not suffer, it reflects badly on our image as a nation, people are being duped and they end up in trouble. At the end of the day, some will be found on the wrong side of the law, it tarnishes our relationships with other countries.”
Dr Mushohwe said there was need for more scholarships for both post graduates and undergraduates in countries like Iran as they had advanced technology which could help support Government’s industrialisation drive.
“There is need to expand our scholarships to countries with high technological expertise so that we do not have to send our patients abroad to receive medical attention,” he said.
“We need to send even professionals to go and do their masters and PhDs there; we must be able to get necessary skills to do things being imported here in Zimbabwe.”
Dr Mushohwe said there was need for Zimbabwean students to acquire skills in different areas, especially in the science and technology sector.
Responding to Dr Mushohwe, Mr Erfanian said he valued the friendship between Iran and Zimbabwe.
“So far, more than 20 students are in Iran, last year we gave five scholarships to students doing medicine,” he said. “There is a need for you to write a letter to our Ministry of Education concerning the areas where you would want assistance in terms of scholarships.”