PF govt neglects students in Russia

Dear Editor,
RE: Students in Russia are dying of starvation as the PF government neglects us once again.
Let me start by saying the mediocrity of the PF government is unfathomable! It seems the President is firing the wrong people. I suggest he fires the minister of education or whoever is in charge of student allowances, because we are starving. We have no food! Nothing! ничего!

Unlike UNZA or CBU students, we do not have the luxury of throwing stones in order to be heard (I mean whose cars are we going to smash here in Russia anyway?). But believe it or not, if we had that opportunity, we could smash more than just cars. We would start with the fat cat sitting on our money. I mean, what kind of incompetence is this? This is a clear sign of lack of leadership and disorganization of the highest order.

First of all, we have not been paid our meal allowances up to now. According to the contract that we signed before we accepted our scholarship, we are supposed to be paid every after 4months starting from January of every year. The last time we were paid was the 30th of May. We were supposed to be paid in august and yet we are crossing into October without a clear date on when we will be paid. It seems someone is sleeping on the job! The start of every academic year needs a certain amount of money. Firstly, we need about $200 for medical insurance (varies from university to university), about $100 for hostel fees, about $100 for renewal of the student Visa and about $50 for full medical checkups. In short, a student needs a minimum of about $500 at the start of every academic year. Some universities especially medical universities do not allow students to start school without the above mentioned requirements.

There is a far cry amongst the Zambian community here. Not only are we a joke, we are also recurrent beggars. We are in so much debt. I usually wonder why the government keeps on sending students here when they cannot afford to take care of the few that are here. In case you haven’t noticed, each year, Zambia sends more students here than any other country in Africa. For instance, for the 2012-2013 academic years, Zambia sent around 99 students while countries like Ghana sent only 18 students.

Secondly, we desperately need an increment. The last time we got an increment was in 2008 right before the world financial crisis.

Ever since, prices of goods has risen as much as 50%. The $250 per month is the not enough anymore. Russia especially Moscow is a very expensive place to live in. our fellow students from Nigeria get $500 dollars per month, the students from Ghana collet about $300. As far as am concerned, Zambia sends the most students and pays the least allowance.

We are not even given book allowances for crying out loud. We really don’t know what is contained in the memorandum of understanding between the Russian and the Zambian governments. It seems our government is in such a hurry to damp us here and forget about us.

My appeal to the PF government is to please pay us on time and give us an increment. A $50 dollar increment won’t hurt. And to anyone who wishes to come and study here under the Russian/Zambian scholarship, do it at your own risk. School is a lot tough when you are constantly thinking on how and when you will pay your debtors just because your government has no clue about your wellbeing.
Yours faithfully,
Medical Student. (please may I be anonymous)

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