Youth Alert 27 July 2010

No Fees No Exams- Solusi University has demanded that students first clear their tuition fees arrears if they are to sit for their exams. According to a ZINASU communiqué, 60% of the student population will be affected by these developments because most of the students cannot afford the US$1 400 for tuition per semester. The union stated that most students are from humble backgrounds and were enrolled with SOLUSI before dollarization of the economy. Hence many stand to be disadvantaged by this move. In June National University of Science and Technology authorities stopped hundreds of students from sitting their examinations due to fees arrears. This led to riots and student arrests as some of them were supposed to be finishing their degree studies.

$1Million For Youth Projects – GOVERNMENT has said it will avail a US$1 million youth loan facility meant to cater for youths around the country who intend to embark on various projects. Speaking at a gathering of about 150 young people in Lobhengula township in Bulawayo on Saturday, Youth Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere said that it was essential for the youths in the city to take advantage of such a facility and forward their project proposals for consideration. However many youths said they are sceptical of the successes of their proposals or even the availability of the funds as they had tried to access the funds before but in vain. Bulawayo Governor Cain Mathema who was accompanying the minister however reassured the youths that his office would ensure that it assisted them as much as possible to succeed in the application process. Those interested in the fund need to put their ideas on paper and draw up a budget of no more than $1000 per project. They should then submit their applications to the ministry of youth offices in their respective provinces. They must also make follow ups until they know the status of their applications.

US Embassy Scholarship Allocation Questioned – Concern has been raised in Matabeleland over the selection criteria for the beneficiaries of the United States Achiever’s Programme (USAP) an initiative of the Education USA Advising Centre in Zimbabwe, which enrols underprivileged students every year. This is after only one student was selected from the region out of a possible 20 places. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Moses Mzila Ndlovu the MP for Bulilima West has also reportedly questioned the embassy’s selection criteria. He is reported to have said he went around some parts of Matabeleland collecting applications last year, before personally submitting 80 of them to the US embassy, but was surprised that only one applicant was successful. The debate has even spilled onto internet chat forums like facebook where comments became quite heated and emotional. The US embassy has in turn promised to look more into the issue to address all the concerns raised.

Manama High School Make it to Norway – Manama High School’s girls Under-14 soccer team finally made it to Oslo, Norway for the Youth Education through Sport (Yes) Norway Cup finals that have been on since 24 July and will end on 7 August. The Manama team almost did not make it to the competition when the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) reportedly selected another school to travel in its place. However after some government officials from the region intervened, the SRC reversed its earlier decision and cleared the Manama girls to travel. Sport is an important empowerment tool for many poor societies in Africa and this will be no exception. Angeline Masuku the Matabeleland South Governor is reported to have said in her speech that sport has the potential to contribute immensely to the economy. Provincial Education Director for Matabeleland South, Tumisang Thabela, is reported to have told the girls to strike a balance between sport and studies.
“There are scholarships that one stands to get if they excel in sport and studies. As a ministry we are working on revamping sport, arts and culture. So go there (Norway), learn and on your return impart your knowledge to your fellows,”

UN proclaimed 2010 International Year of Youth – In an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world’s youth in overcoming the challenges facing humankind, from enhancing peace to boosting economic development, the United Nations on 18 December 2009 proclaimed an International Year of Youth starting on 12 August 2010. Read More Here

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