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21 Batswana students receive Russia scholarships

Daily News


By Aubrey Maswabi

GABORONE - Twenty one young Batswana are set to leave for various cities in Russian to pursue their studies in different fields.

Biding them farewell at the Russian Cultural Centre in Gaborone on Thursday, the assistant minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Mr Moiseraele Goya pleaded with them to represent Botswana well as true ambassadors saying the Russia would judge Batswana based on how they uphold themselves while there.

He said the Russia government scholarship came at the right time when the country was in the process of transforming the economy from a mineral-based to that of knowledge-based.

He said efforts such as the scholarships offered by the Russian government added impetus to the Botswana government to achieve its plans.

Mr Goya urged students to study hard so that they come back and contribute to the development of their country.

He said that despite the many miles separating the two countries, the government appreciated the friendly support and cordial relationship that existed between the two nations.

The minister further said the candidates were chosen in close cooperation with the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) and the students were the best among those that applied for the sponsorship.

He said the number of students from Botswana who had been offered scholarships by the Russian government had increased two-fold after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2016 between the then Ministry of Education and Skills Development and the Russian government.

Mr Goya said the 21 students had been offered scholarships in various programmes such as general medicine, engineering and geology as well as international relations among others.

The Russian Ambassador, Mr Victor Sibilev said the increased number of Botswana students benefiting in the scholarships came as a result of the MoU signed between the ministry of education in Botswana and the Russian government in 2016.

Mr Sibilev said the world was continuously changing, sciences and technology were developing as well while everyone needed good education and knowledge in a large spectrum of professions.

“We are confident that you are talented and clever and you are also the future of the prosperous Botswana who will transform this country for better, to reinforce the economy and welfare of the people,” he said.

He said the majority of Botswana students were studying in cities of central and southern Russia being Moscow, Saint- Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh, Krasnodar and others.

One of the scholarship beneficiaries working for Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital, Mr Clifford Seleka pleaded with the students to take their studies seriously and bring back the knowledge they acquired for the benefit of Batswana.

Mr Seleka said when he arrived in Russia the first thing to strike him was the cultural difference as he could not speak to any other person in English despite the fact that he thought it was an international language.

He assured them that the Russian language was not that difficult and urged them to learn it as it would give them the opportunity to explore Russia.

He, however, warned them not to be carried away by the busy nightlife in Russia as that would distract them.