BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube, pictured, has appealed to the Presidential and National Scholarships Office to also consider her province when allocating bursaries as it excelled during the 2020 Advanced Level examinations.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office hands out thousands of scholarships to underprivileged deserving and bright young Zimbabweans to study at universities in South Africa, Algeria, Russia and China.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Ncube said she is getting numerous requests of assistance from underprivileged learners who want to advance their education.
“I am appealing to the Office of the President that deals with Presidential and National Scholarships to also consider us here in Bulawayo.
“We have many students who passed very well in their Advanced Level, but they are wallowing in poverty and cannot afford going to university. Some of them flood my office, begging for assistance and I will appreciate it if the government bail us out,” she said.
“My heart bled when a student who scored 20 points from four subjects at Advanced Level walked into my office crying for funding to go to university.
“There is a lot of poverty in our city and our children, who are supposed to be leaders of tomorrow, cannot afford to further their education. We appeal to the government to assist us.”
Ncube said there is also a high number of scholarship seekers who were being duped by conmen posing as agents.
“My heart bleeds because of the culture of corruption and inhumanity happening in Bulawayo. There are heartless people who are taking advantage of desperate students who have just finished school and are looking for scholarships either to study locally or abroad.
“They will tell you that they have lost huge sums of money to these people,” she said.
Ncube said some parents were made to pay for airplane tickets to fly as far as China only to have their children getting stuck in foreign land after realising that there are no scholarships at all.
“It is so sad that someone will take advantage of these parents looking for scholarships for their children and can make them pay money for airplane tickets, accommodation and all and tell them that the fees have been paid in China.
“Parents incur all these costs and their children fly to China.
“When they get there, they then realise it was fake and those people whom they would have been communicating with then suddenly go out of reach. We have children stuck and wallowing in poverty there because of these fake agencies. Parents start to look for money to bring them back home,” she said.
Ncube warned members of the public against informal application of scholarships or dealing with non-reputable agencies.
“No matter how desperate you are, do not fall for these informal people. You better come to our office and we will guide you in how to apply in the event that the Presidential Scholarships are open.
“This is why l am appealing to the government to assist so that our people take the right path. Do not go to someone you cannot trace in future,” she said.
Recently, Presidential and National Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet executive director Christopher Mushowe warned the public against falling for fake scholarship agents.
Mushowe said they communicate with the public on scholarships through the media and they do not allow agents to handle applications.
by Tamary Chikiwa