The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has awarded scholarships and grants to university students and pupils in primary and secondary schools at an auspicious occasion held on Tuesday 30th June 2020 at the Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Office in Freetown.
The 2020 Chinese Ambassador Scholarships benefited 20 university students who received $1,000 (one thousand United States Dollars) each in cash, whilst 90 primary and secondary school pupils received $200 (two hundred United States Dollars) each, bringing the amount to a total of $38,000 dished out this year.
The program was set up to encourage students and pupils with outstanding academic performance and a positive attitude toward promoting China-Sierra Leone friendship. To date, a total of 93 students have benefited from the program.
“The grant is to 90 primary and secondary school students who are economically less privileged, with an aim to helping them financially and support the Free Quality Education program,” said the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hu Zhangliang who assured his audience that China will continue to provide support and assistance within its ability to Sierra Leone for the latter’s economic and social development.
“The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone will always spare no efforts in further strengthening the strong bonds between our two countries,” he added.
Education is one of the Sierra Leone Government’s topmost development priorities. The support to university students and school pupils is to complement the country’s Free Quality Education.
Over the years, China has been helping Sierra Leone in its educational development and human capacity building on a large scale. Last year, about 600 Sierra Leoneans were invited to China for short-term training courses sponsored by the Chinese Government, and about 120 Sierra Leonean students were admitted by prominent Chinese universities under the Chinese Government Scholarships Programs.
Earlier this year, 90 Sierra Leoneans received pieces of training on professional stitching and pottery-making held in Freetown sponsored by the Chinese government. In total, the Chinese government has invited more than 5100 Sierra Leonean friends to China for short-term training courses and sponsored more than 820 Sierra Leonean students with Chinese Government Scholarships to study in China.
“On behalf of the Government and the People of Sierra Leone, I continue to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Chinese Ambassador and the people of China for supporting our country at a time of need. I hope this great union will last forever in good faith,” said Sierra Leone’s Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima, adding that the government and the people of Sierra Leone graciously acknowledge the presence and unflinching support of the Chinese people to Sierra Leone especially in addressing the gaps within the Human Capacity Development.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other authorities present, such as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Professor Foday Sahr, some school authorities present, and officials of the Sierra Leone-China Foundation, Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association, and Sierra Leone – China Friendship Association.
They each thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the laudable initiative and asked recipients to make good use of the cash support to enhance their educational development.