GOVERNMENT has directed Zambia’s High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga to conduct a comprehensive review of the circumstances under which 36 Zambian students are stranded in that country before it facilitates their return home.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba said in an interview yesterday that Government will facilitate the return of students who are stuck in India because it takes pride in its citizens.
“The high commissioner’s office in India will have to do a case-by-case study as to why each student is stranded so that Government can start bringing them back home.
“We take pride in our citizens and we will not allow anyone of them to be destitute in another country,” Mr Kalaba said.
He said Government will facilitate the students’ return as soon as the comprehensive study is concluded.
Mr Kalaba also urged parents who cannot afford to pay tuition fees for their children abroad to take them to local universities because Zambia’s education system can compete internationally.
“Our education system in Zambia is as good as that of other countries, so parents should not feel bad to educate their children locally,” he said.
The minister was speaking following revelations by Zambia’s High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga that 36 Zambian students are stuck in the Asian nation for reasons such as having committed offences like drug trafficking.
In a statement issued yesterday by first secretary for press and tourism at the Zambian mission in India, Bangwe Naviley, Ms Kapijimpanga said most students are stranded because of their parents’ failure to sustain the payment of school fees.
Ms Kapijimpanga said it is saddening that some parents just send their children for studies in India without informing the mission which only gets to know about them when they are arrested or have failed to pay school fees.
About 300 Zambian students are documented to be studying at various institutions of higher learning in India.
Ms Kapijimpanga urged parents to consult the Zambian mission in New Delhi on education services being provided in India before sending their children there.