MASERU — Three lucky Basotho students were on Thursday granted full scholarships by the Masiyiwa Family Trust to study for an International Baccalaureate diploma in Swaziland.
The scholarships are being funded by Econet Wireless International chairman, Strive Masiyiwa, whose company holds a 70 percent stake in Econet-Telecom Lesotho.
The government of Lesotho holds the remaining 30 percent.
The gifted students who received the scholarships are Puleng Moshele from Holy Family High School, Keneuoe Mphutlane from ‘Mabathoana High School and Thabiso Ratalane from Itekeng High School in Maseru.
The three will study for a two-year diploma at the respected Waterford kaMhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Mbabane.
The diploma will enable the students to study at any international university of their choice.
Each scholarship is worth M101 475 and includes tuition and boarding fees, as well as other expenses.
Econet-Telecom Lesotho community affairs general manager, Mosuoe Mapetla, said the scholarships were one way the company sought to reward hard-working students.
“Econet-Telecom — working together with the Lesotho School Principals Association — selected six of the best Form 5 students from all schools in Lesotho who were to write entrance examinations and participate in pre-entry interviews,” Mapetla said.
Econet-Telecom Lesotho chief executive officer, Elvis Gwanzura, said the sponsorship was part of the company’s investment in human capital as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme.
“Education has the capacity to transform individuals into becoming great achievers as it forms a good basis for development.
“It also contributes to the economic growth of any country,” Gwanzura said.
He said the company was keen to work with schools by heavily investing in technology.
The president of the Lesotho School Principals Association, Ratšeame Khampane, urged companies to continue investing in citizens of the countries in which they operate.
“There is no economy which is greater than its people. All the greatest economies have highly educated citizens,” said Khampane.
Khampane said it was their aim to continue providing quality education with the help of corporations such as Econet-Telecom Lesotho. Khampane commended the company for the “generous” sponsorship and hailed the relationship between his organisation and Econet-Telecom Lesotho.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Thabiso Ratalane thanked the sponsors for giving them an opportunity to further their studies.
“In addition, we would also like to thank our parents and teachers and promise to fully utilise this opportunity,” Ratalane said.