The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Nomsa Zuze, has denied reports that, in the coming academic year, they will only sponsor students who graduated in 2008, and not those who had to upgrade their grades through correspondence or those who qualified in foreign countries.
Zuze said that the ministry had budgeted for a total of 8885 students for the coming academic year and that the number includes all the students who have qualified and that it was not true that they will not sponsor students who have had to upgrade their qualifications.
”If one upgrades his or her grades and qualifies for the requirement, we will gladly sponsor him or her as that would have shown that he was serious about his studies,” she said.
Zuze declined to say whether she was sure that the Ministry has enough money for scholarships and whether they will not have to go back to Parliament to ask for a supplementary budget as happened in the past.
“I do not think it is wise to answer that question,” she said. “Just know that we will be sponsoring 8885 students who have qualified.”
Despite what she said, sources in the Department of Student Placement and Welfare say that the truth is that the money allocated to the Department does not cater for students who have had to upgrade their requirements through corresponding and those with external certificates.
According to the source, if such students are to be included, then the department will have to ask for supplementary money to cater for such students.
”As things stand currently, such students have not been catered for and supplementary money is needed to cater for them,” said the source, adding that Zuze recently went on air denying that students who did not graduate in 2008 will not be sponsored and that the issue drew anger from the Ministry’s top officials as it was felt that Zuze was not telling the nation the truth.
“A series of meetings was held after Zuze had gone on air saying the same thing that she has been telling you and that drew anger from top officials in the Ministry,” said the source.
Zuze denied this ever happened.
“I know nothing about such a meeting,” she said.
Last year, the Ministry was forced to go back to Parliament to ask for supplementary money and this angered a lot of people who saw that as a sign that the Ministry was not doing its work properly.