Government says it remains committed to cater for and support Zimbabwean students studying at foreign higher learning institutions despite the current economic hardships.
Christopher Mushowe, the Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the President’s Office made the remarks on the sidelines of the swearing in the new cabinet at state house on Monday.
He added that the government has taken measures to normalize the living conditions of students studying in countries like Russia and China.
“it is incumbent upon us as the government to make sure that we pay our students are paid the required stipend as the receiving governments where we send our kids only pay school fees. everything else has to be paused by the government of Zimbabwe.
“This is a task which I am going to be faced with and prepared to take head on.
“Of course the money might not be enough and we might not be able to pay it now, but we are committed to making sure that our students are not stranded,” said Mushowe.
This comes amid reports that treasury had been instructed by students’ representatives to ensure Government respects its commitments regarding the welfare of those studying on scholarships availed by friendly countries.
Earlier this year, hundreds of students studying in Russia and Algeria submitted a petition to the then President, Robert Mugabe and the former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Jonathan Moyo, demanding that they be paid their stipends as stipulated under their scholarships.
Each student is supposed to receive $3 000 annually to cater for their personal needs, but government has not been meeting its obligation.
Mushowe said despite the cash shortages, government will continue to send students to study abroad in specialized areas , with technology being a preferred field of study.
“we want to ensure that our students get the best education in areas of specification and we will continue to support those so that we have students who are specialists.
“If it means we have to support them to go to countries like Cuba, Malaysia and the likes, then we will continue to do that and by so doing, we will be assured of good growth in some areas of the economy,” said Mushowe.