Sierra Leone News: Chines Ambassador Awards Scholarships to Dozens of Sierra Leonean Students
By Desmond Tunde Coker
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, China Hu Zhangliang has on Thursday October 17, 2019, awarded scholarships to 47 students from different colleges and schools across the country.
While delivering his speech during the awarding of scholarship to the students, Ambassador Zhangliang said that a total of 73 students have now benefited from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarships, including these 25 that are awarded Scholarships on Thursday. He also provided grants to 20 less privileged students from Fourah Bay College Junior Secondary School and two another students.
The 25 recipients were mainly recommended by Fourah Bay College, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Njala University, University of Makeni and Milton Margai College of Education and Technology.
Ambassador Zhangliang said, “This year marks the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone. Over the past 48 years, China and Sierra Leone have achieved fruitful cooperation results in various fields, among which education is an important component.”
“The government takes education as one of its top priorities of its New Direction Agenda for national development. China has consistently supported Sierra Leone in its educational development and human capacity building within her ability,” he said.
“China has been trying her best to contribute to the Free Quality Education flagship program proposed by H.E. President Julius Maada Bio. The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone just bid farewell in August this year to nearly 120 Sierra Leonean students who were enrolled by the Chinese universities under the Chinese Government Scholarships Program,” he said.
The Chinese ambassador said, “I have seen similar spirit in the students and people of Sierra Leone. I believe that through your unremitting struggle, the future of Sierra Leone will be better and the future of China-Sierra Leone relations will be more brilliant.”
He said that at the 19th CPC National Congress in October, 2017, H.E. President Xi Jinping said that they should not give up on our dreams because the reality around us is too complicated and they should not stop pursuing their ideals because they seem out of our reach. “It is precisely because the spirit of never giving up, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, have been self-reliant, worked diligently and surmounted all difficulties and obstacles to create Chinese miracles that the world has marveled at in the past 70 years,” Ambassador Zhangliang said.
“David Lavalie was a secondary student from Sussex, Freetown. He loves to learn, but was forced to drop out of school and found an informal job in quarrying industry because his family could not afford school uniforms, tuition and other miscellaneous fees. “I met David Lavalie on an inspection tour to River №2. He informed me about his situation. I thought I should do something to help him,” he said.
He also mentioned Foday Komba who is eager to go to college and has taken twice West African Senior School Certificate Examination. This year, he is expected to be admitted by a university. In order to raise tuition fees, he found a job in a Chinese construction company that is implementing a project for the Chinese Embassy. And according to the company, he takes his job seriously and works very hard. I have never met Foday before. “I heard about him from the manager of the Chinese company and I really appreciate the spirit in him, the spirit of being self-reliant and always aiming high. I know that in Freetown and in Sierra Leone, there may be many other kids like David and Foday, who need a helping hand and deserve due encouragement,” Ambassador Zhangliang said.
The Minister of Tertiary Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima congratulated all the recipients of the scholarship, and called on them to take the great opportunity given to them, as education is the key to life.
He said that education is important because it makes you want you want to be in life. He reiterated President Bio’s agenda of human capital by providing free and quality education for all students in the country.
He encouraged recipients to do more so that the scholarship will continue. He applauded the Chinese Ambassador for the scholarship.