By Lincoln Towindo
Vice President Kembo Mohadi has bade farewell to 47 students destined for university studies in Russia, under the Russia Bilateral Scholarships Programme.
Addressing the students before their departure, VP Mohadi encouraged them to acquire relevant skills needed to develop Zimbabwe.
“You, as young people, need to be bold and assume the heavy responsibilities of acquiring new knowledge, breaking new frontiers of skills to face and overcome the fourth industrial revolution so that Zimbabwe is not left behind,” said the Vice President.
“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.”
VP Mohadi described the relationship between Zimbabwe and Russia as that of camaraderie.
He said Russia-Zimbabwe ties were focused on economic co-operation. The Vice President implored the students to embrace patriotism and to be good ambassadors for the country.
“I urge you, therefore, to go to Russia to orient yourselves to modernisation, to adapt to the world of learning and work; have a sense of urgency in updating your knowledge, study with great eagerness, lay a foundation of basic knowledge while updating it promptly,” he said.
Presidential Scholarship Programme executive director Dr Chris Mushohwe said the students would undertake studies in areas that include engineering, science and technology, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, oil and gas exploration and mineral extraction.
“None of these students are going to do humanities, they are just high-tech programmes that they are going to partake,” said Dr Mushohwe.
“This is an agreement that we have with the Russian Federation. The students that are going to Russia will specialise in key and strategic areas for our industrialisation.“We are very happy that every year we get scholarship offers from the Russian Federation. As of August this year, we had 188 students who were undertaking various high-tech programmes in Russia and we had 27 students who completed, have returned and are already serving their motherland.
“With these going, we will have 161 students in Russia, but we have another contingent of 16 students who will follow this year, hopefully this month, whose papers are still being processed.
“For 2019-2020 we should have 224 students in Russia all of whom will be pursuing high tech programmes which Zimbabwe desperately needs.”
Russian Embassy in Zimbabwe counsellor Mr Iliyas Madiev called on the students to represent their country well.
“Despite some hard tasks that you may encounter during the course of your studies, at the end of it, all of you will complete this part of your education journey with great achievement and beautiful memories.”
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