President Joyce Banda on Sunday awarded scholarships to five students to study medicine in Russia following their star performance in the Malawi School Certificate Examinations (MSCE).
This was disclosed on Sunday at Kamuzu Palace where the President had an audience with the girls who had scored seven points each in the past MSCE.
Education, Science and Technology Minister, Lucious Kanyumba, told journalists after the meeting that upon wider consultations with the students themselves, their parents and various stakeholders, the parties had agreed the five would study medicine in Russia.
“The five girls are going to study medicine in Russia,” announced Kanyumba. “We had to take into consideration what scholarships were on the table, the students’ and the parents’ views and everyone is happy with the arrangement.”
The awarding of scholarships to the five students followed the traditional Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) Annual Merit Awards held recently at Mary Mount Secondary School in Mzuzu where three girls were awarded scholarships to study in China.
Banda had promised to offer scholarships to the five runners-up, Glory Shaba and Mirriam Mazibuko from Mary Mount Secondary School, Tamanda Sapulaye and Maria Meke from St. Mary’s Secondary School in Zomba, and Coline Dikiya from Blantyre Secondary School.
Kanyumba also disclosed Banda had also offered scholarships to 10 boys and two girls to study in various fields in the United States (US), and he added that eight more girls had been awarded scholarships to study engineering in the US.
“While encouraging and promoting girl education remains the president’s priority, she has considered offering scholarships to boys as well because she is president for all,” said Kanyumba, adding that among the boys and girls were those who had performed well in their MSCE in the past years.
The awarding of best girl students was championed by ZBS about five years ago with the support of the Peoples’ Republic of China and ever since, a number of girls have been awarded scholarships on merit to study in China.
From last year president Banda followed suit by offering scholarships to 3 girls who were runners-up to the year’s ZBS cream students and the 3 are currently studying at Troy University in the US.