Zimbabwe students starve in Russia

ZIMBABWEAN students studying in Russia say they are facing starvation and a host of other problems as government fails to pay them living stipends.

BY OUR STAFF

The students said they were supposed to be paid stipends at the beginning of each year, but they had not received anything from the government, about two weeks before the start of a new academic year.

They said they feared that they would be barred from classes and hostels due to non-payment of fees.

“At the start of every academic year we need about $500 to renew our paperwork. But for a year now, we have not been given anything,” one of the students told The Standard.

“We are supposed to get $3 000, but ever since I came here we have not received enough money and they don’t pay the balance of what they owe us. To make matters worse, the cost of living in Russia has risen, with almost all medical insurers doubling their fees, visa included.”

The students said medical insurance was this year increased from $130 to $300, making it difficult for them to get medical over.

One student said she had been forced to go into prostitution in order to survive.

“I am not proud to say this, but last night my foreign friend forced me to sleep with her client to cover for my stay in her apartment. It pained me because I never imagined myself sleeping with men to survive,” she said.




“The reason I applied for this scholarship is because I am from a poor family and I am an orphan. This is a full scholarship and the government is supposed to give us stipends every year to survive.”

The student said Russia had strict laws that prevented foreign students from working.

“If you are caught [working] they deport you,” she said.

Another student said although a few months ago government announced that students studying in foreign countries had been paid allowances, up to now nothing had reflected in their accounts.

“According to the bilateral agreement between Zimbabwe and Russia, the Russians can only pay for our fees provided our government looks after our welfare here,” said the student.

“There is a new group which won scholarships to study in Russia and was told that everything would be paid for by Russia, including accommodation, visas and medical aid.
“This is not true because we were told the same story. Why do they lie? Why don’t they just make it a partial scholarship and tell students that Russia pays fees and you see to your own welfare than to fly students to hell in Russia?”

But deputy Higher and Tertiary Education minister Godfrey Gandawa yesterday insisted government had paid the students.

“The money was sent to the students, including [those in] Russia last week. although there were challenges, they received the money,” Gandawa said.

“Egypt and Russia students I am informed got their stipends on August 4. If there is a student who hasn’t received it, I will be glad to know. I actually got a confirmation from one of the students in Russia.”

Zimbabwe has sent many students to countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Russia under bilateral agreements.

The government is expected to pay for the upkeep of the students, but most students have been wallowing in poverty, with some turning to prostitution as a means of survival.

Related Posts
Angelina Jolie to teach at London School of Economics on women in conflict
LONDON - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is to join the London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting professor on a new masters course on women, peace and security, the ...
READ MORE
Wanted: 1 000 Maths, Science teachers
THERE are 900 Mathematics teacher vacancies in schools and Government has intensified training of such tutors with 1 000 set to be recruited in the next two years. Addressing a graduation ...
READ MORE
Hunger Stalking Zimbabwe Forces Children to Miss School Lessons
Rising numbers of children are no longer attending class at Mupinga Primary School in the southeastern Zimbabwean district of Chiredzi. They’re too hungry to study. Enrollment at the school this year ...
READ MORE
Teachers Fume Over Govt Plans to Shift June Pay to Next Month
HARARE — The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has described as shocking new civil servants’ pay dates indicating that teachers will be paid next month. In a statement posted on ...
READ MORE
Zimbabwe Minister Says National Pledge Mandatory Policy
HARARE — Despite a huge public outcry of over the recent introduction of a national pledge in all schools in Zimbabwe, Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora says it is mandatory under the ...
READ MORE
School dropout rate rising as drought boosts hunger
LUPANE, - When Thabiso Dube isn't helping his mother at home, the scrawny 8-year-old is working alongside her, doing odd jobs in exchange for food. He should be in class, but ...
READ MORE
Emirates backs college bid to help school in Zimbabwe
A BID by South Tyneside College to send a classroom in a container to a school on Zimbabwe has received a boost.   Global connector of people and places Emirates has donated ...
READ MORE
Teachers get December salaries minus pension deductions
Government yesterday paid teachers their December salaries, quashing private media reports that it was in the red and would not meet its salary obligations. Acting Minister of Public Service, Labour and ...
READ MORE
Japanese Embassy funds construction of classroom blocks
LEARNING in a proper classroom is often taken for granted, but not so for pupils at Tsatsi Secondary School in Mazowe who until recently were conducting lessons squashed in a ...
READ MORE
Mnangagwa’s son expelled from student union body
ZIMBABWE Congress of Students Union (Zicosu), Tonderai Chidawa, has been expelled over allegations of sexual abuse and for claiming to be the son of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Zicosu is the ...
READ MORE
Angelina Jolie to teach at London School of
Wanted: 1 000 Maths, Science teachers
Hunger Stalking Zimbabwe Forces Children to Miss School
Teachers Fume Over Govt Plans to Shift June
Zimbabwe Minister Says National Pledge Mandatory Policy
School dropout rate rising as drought boosts hunger
Emirates backs college bid to help school in
Teachers get December salaries minus pension deductions
Japanese Embassy funds construction of classroom blocks
Mnangagwa’s son expelled from student union body

Arts & Entertainment