224 students awarded Russian scholarships, only six from Matabeleland

Only six students from Matabeleland out of 224 Zimbabwean students were recently awarded scholarships to study at Russian universities, under the Russia Bilateral Scholarships Programme.

This comes after the controversial recruitment of trainee nurses at government-run training institutions in the Southern region, which has sent tongues wagging.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi last week bid farewell to 47 students who have since left for Russia.

It has since emerged that in the latest batch, only 3 students were from Matabeleland.

Speaking at the farewell ceremony, VP Mohadi expressed concern at the few numbers of female students.

“Today we bid farewell to 47 young people. Sadly, only 8 are female. That goes to show the great responsibility we have to expose more female students to the natural sciences,” Mohadi was quoted as having said.

Contacted for a comment on the recruitment policy, Presidential scholarship Programme Executive Director, Dr. Chris Mushohwe, disputed the figures.

“That’s not true the students who left for Russia on Saturday were 47 and 16 May leave next month. Out of these 6 students are from Matabeleland,” said Dr. Mushohwe.

He said students are selected on merit and have to meet the application requirements.

“It depends on the application of those who meet the requirements of the Russian criteria. All the disciplines for Russia were on High Tech requiring high points in hard sciences,” he said.

Of the 224 students selected for the 2019-2020 programme,188 students, as of August this year, have undertaken various high-tech programs in Russia and only 27 have so far returned back home.

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