Mpumalanga Govt denies SA students in Russia are faced with hardships

Mpumalanga Govt denies SA students in Russia are faced with hardships
UNCERTAINTY: Mpumalanga students studying in Russia on a provincial government sponsored program have expressed feelings of uncertainty over their continued stay in that country after reports that tuition and accommodation fees have not been paid in three months. PICTURE BY Mbare Times

They say as far as they know all systems are in place.

The Mpumalanga department of education has denied that students in Russia are faced with expulsion because government is failing to pay accommodation and tuition fees.

About 230 students from Mpumalanga have been studying in Russia doing various courses in internet security, engineering, medicine and aircraft-related studies.

Of these, 67 will complete their studies in June 2023.

The students have voiced out to the media how the Mpumalanga education department failed to pay their fees for 3 consecutive months now and how they have been placed on an “expulsion list”.

“Right now if I go to buy bread and the police stop me, they are going to ask for my registration, which I don’t have,” one of the students said.

“They are going to arrest me because I don’t have a registration [document] and my landlord won’t give me a registration [document] until my rent is paid. We don’t have money,” the student Victoria Maheso said.

But departmental spokesman Jasper Zwane claimed that they are not aware about any hardships being undergone by the students in Russia.

He said all fees will be paid on 14 October 2022.

“We have an open line with the students and we get updates on a day to day basis,” Zwane said, adding that the students are fully funded by the department as part of the provincial human resource development strategy.

SEE ALSO: Premier delegates Vusi Shongwe to sign bi-lateral agreement with Russia

“As of now, the department does not have information of students whose academic contracts have been terminated or students who were evicted from their respective places of accommodation,” Zwane claimed.

“The department is in advanced discussions with the South African embassy in Russia and the department of international relations and co-operation in an effort to accelerate the payment of tuition and accommodation for the students.”

He said that the monthly stipends for the students will be increased from R4000 to R5000 month “to mitigate the challenges the students are experiencing as a result of the conflict involving Russia and Ukraine”.

“Everything will be done this Friday,” he said.

Meanwhile, parents of the students have voiced out concerns about the looming suffering of the children and said they believe the South African government is seriously corrupt.

(edited by ZK)
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