By Clayton Shereni

THE Masvingo City Council is rolling out an educational scholarship programme starting this year which will benefit academically gifted and less privileged students in the city, Centre News can reveal.

Beneficiaries of this landmark programme will be drawn from all council schools in the city and will extend to other schools in the long run.

City fathers resolved during a recent full council meeting to assist less-privileged students especially orphans that are excelling in their studies in an effort to help families that are struggling to meet tuition demands.

The local authority will utilize Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) structures that are already in existence and other internal vetting methods to identify suitable beneficiaries.

Speaking to Centre News, Masvingo Mayor Collen Maboke said this programme will benefit the city and give hope to students that were already giving up.

“I have been receiving requests for assistance towards tuition fees from many people at a personal level and sometimes in my capacity as a community leader. After deliberating on this issue, we have decided as council to roll out this ground-breaking program which we hope will give confidence and hope to many academically gifted students that are underprivileged.

“In future, these students will come back to serve this very same Masvingo community. Remember, we have clinics, schools, council offices, and other facilities that beneficiaries of this programme can be interested to work at once they are done with their studies so technically, we are ploughing back to the community,” Maboke said.

The primary school programme will cater for stationery, school uniforms, and other items up to Grade 6 while the secondary education package comes as a full package including boarding fees.

For those that will benefit up to the university level they will get all fees catered for including tuition and boarding fees.

All council school across the city will benefit from the programme and for a start, at-least five students from each school will be submitted to the Director of Housing for vetting and endorsement.

Commenting on the introduction of the educational scholarship programme, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) spokesperson, Godfrey Mtimba said it was a welcome social responsibility programme by the city fathers.

“This is a welcome development by the local authority, and we hail them for coming up with such a critical resolution to assist the underprivileged and in the same way respect the socio-economic right to education for the poor. The programme will go a long way in uplifting the future of the young ones as education as a basic tenet of service delivery is the basis for development and upliftment of our city,” he said.

The Mayor Maboke led local authority has also received various awards in previous years for being one of the best local authorities in the country and having strategic leaders that have won excellence awards in their personal capacities.