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Opinion / Letters

Zimbabwe-Iran scholarship goes 19 months without stipend from govt

by Student
23 Aug 2019 at 07:59hrs | Views
To the minister responsible for students on govt scholarships

We were awarded Government Sponsored Scholarships to study in various Engineering disciplines in the Islamic Republic State of Iran. We are four students; 3 pursuing Masters degrees and 1 pursuing a Doctorate degree.

Under the scholarship (Zimbabwe-Iran Scholarship Program) the Government of Zimbabwe through the scholarship ministry has promised to support the student with stipends of USD$3000 per year per student to cover Medication, Transport, Food, Clothing and Academic Research.

It has been 19 months since we last received our stipends, and we have since run out of money for our survival. Life has become difficult in Iran, while the country is under sanctions imposed by the US Government the ever sinking economy and exorbitant increases in prices of food and other basic commodities leave us vulnerable.  We are struggling to survive to the extent that we can no longer afford basic commodities.

During holidays and semester breaks the school canteen where we normally buy food closes and we are supposed to cook for ourselves which is even much more expensive. We are in a critical state and surviving on handouts from well-wishers.

We have tried borrowing money from the university but it has come to no avail due to the risks, uncertainties and also the impromptu changes associated with the Iranian economy due to the imposed sanctions. We have run out of food supplies and access to medical facilities has become of no reach.

There are no other sources of money besides money from the government, once we run out of money this pushes us into desperation, and students will end up resorting to drugs peddling, prostitution and other dangerous ways to survive.

The terms and conditions of our scholarship stipulate that we pay for our research work, it is unfortunate that to date we have not yet done any substantial work due to lack of funding for the research projects. We were hoping that if you could kindly mobilise our stipends then we could also try our level best to do our research and finish on time as we are now halfway through the year.  

We are looking forward to a positive response.

Thanking you in advance

Regards

Source - Students
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