PF Government has forsaken us – Students abroad

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Psychology teaches us that when a government goes against an agreement with its citizens that it signed when getting elected into power, to act on their behalf on matters affecting them, in no time the people will rise against the government.

We have been seeing this at UNZA and CBU what students tend to do when they feel neglected. And the irony is that we are all tired of it and yet we still see them results year in year out.

As a scholarship student abroad, we have been told to conduct ourselves in a manner that will uplift the Zambian international standards through our conduct here in the Diaspora. That when we have problems, we ought to seek guidance from our students Attaches in the respective countries. That we are intellectuals and ought to discuss matters in a peaceful way. That as students abroad we ought not to contact media when we feel neglected but discuss the problems with students Attaches.

We have complied with all the conditions as taught, but one may say that it’s been taken for granted. So now we are coming out, and we will tell you the people and the media the truth. “So let me explain”.

Scholarship students as agreed with GRZ, said that will be getting paid every “after 4 months” to survive abroad. The same agreement states that “funds will be given only when available and that any shortfall in funds must be attended to by the students or guardians”. Being aware of this, GRZ has taken it for granted too.

I want people to understand that these scholarships were advertised by GRZ, that in itself is a responsibility they took. And before anyone ask why we are abroad and not at UNZA or CBU, we all know the accommodation problems at these institutions. So GRZ decided to send others abroad and took a responsibility. Which we deeply appreciate and very thankful.

Before I rise the major issue, I would like you to put in mind, that here abroad we have students coming from all parts of Zambia. We have students from stable and non stable financial families, we have students whose guardians do not even know what Western union or Money gram is, and we have students who became orphans from the age as low as 5-10, but their concentration and hard work in education awarded them with these scholarships. In short, they have no guardians who can cover any shortfall of funds while abroad.

“Now the problem”, I know that the amounts of funds I will outline which ought to be given to students will seem very big to others and especially when you are in Zambia, but it’s unwise to compare two economies of different countries as the same, with the same amount of funds one has. We are in countries where such amounts only covers 70% of our monthly expenditures, in short of 30% to survive.

GRZ agreed to give students abroad $250 a months, which is to be paid every after 4 months. So “on paper” students get $1000 every 4 months. But GRZ takes 5 months plus to pay students. Now you may recall that this money only covers 70%, so the money only covers 3 months. But GRZ takes 5 months plus, which is why I said that the agreement which states that “funds will be given only when available” has been abused.

Our current situation is that GRZ was to pay students the January-April funds, but we were only given half of that money in March, and we were promised to be given the rest later. But even though these funds came, students were already in debt because GRZ was behind by 2 months. Now April is done, GRZ has not paid the other half or even showed any signs about the matter. Now, GRZ ought to pay us for May-August period, and yet they have not given us the other half of the first quarter of the year.

Right now students are broke with exams around the corner. Right now, those who are able to receive funds, only receive that which can sustain them. Those who can’t receive funds have resorted to missing classes so as to survive. Did we come here to get education or to survive? Because we live in countries where every attendance in class counts on your exams, but if we seek to survive (work) and miss these classes, there is a higher chance of not giving exams and getting expelled then sent back to Zambia.

We are not asking for a rise to cover the 30% shortfall, we are just asking GRZ to pay in time. We have been quite and have been inquiring about this situation but our cooperation has been seen to a sign of weakness and not of goodwill. Right now Zambian students are in debt to other nationalities due to the incapability, unaccountability, corruption and lack of leadership in some individuals.

In times like these with elections around the corner, one may say that GRZ is more focused on politics and campaigns, forgetting its core function of service to its citizens both in Zambia and abroad.
These are things that make youths react like non intellectuals when GRZ fails to uphold and fulfill its agreement with youths.

Thank you very much for your time. God bless Zambia.
Suffering student.

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4 Responses to PF Government has forsaken us – Students abroad

  1. Sad. Govt borrows money to increase its own salaries. Pay the students please. Where is the pride of studying abroad if your govt neglects you this much. Embarrassing really

    child of the sky
    May 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm
    Reply

  2. I can attest to this – as I experienced the same 30 years ago!!! Sadly, nothing has changed 30 years on? In our case, one ambassador would keep the student funds in his personal account for months while as students we went without!!! Was he ever disciplined or disciplined? Not once – so I’m NOT surprised the problem continues. What a country!!!

    Ulemona
    May 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm
    Reply

  3. ZAMBIA FYONSE KULYAMO.THAT IS OUR CULTURE.ANYWAY IT IS GLOBAL.

    bwezani
    May 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm
    Reply

  4. Kambwili will tell you, ‘its global’.

    Ngalande
    May 4, 2016 at 9:55 pm
    Reply

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