By Amin Kef Sesay
Two successful Sierra Leonean students were on 13 January 2020 awarded scholarships by the Serbian Government to study at the Belgrade University. The deserving recipients of the scholarships were Sia Senorita Quee and Iyesata Jalloh and the two will be studying at the University for a year.
Dr. Adonis Aboud , the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Serbia in a statement during the short but auspicious award ceremony, enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity and concentrate on their studies in order to emerge successful at the end of their courses. “You will be ambassadors of this country out there and therefore should do your utmost best to excel in your studies,” he motivated them.
He further disclosed that both students would be pursuing Masters Degrees. “Sia and Iyesata are the 27th and 28th Sierra Leoneans to receive scholarships from Yugoslav Republic since the 80’s,” he added furthering that Sia will be specializing in Public Health and Iyesata in Accounting..
Sia explained that the process of winning or bagging the scholarship was highly competitive saying she is very excited for being considered . “In Sierra Leone it is expensive to read for a Master’s Degree in the medical field…it costs up to 30 million Leones alone for the tuition fee and so I am grateful for the award,” she said disclosing how she will be specializing in epidemiology saying because Sierra Leone once had an outbreak she would love to give back to her country.
Iysata, on the other hand, explained that doing a first degree in Sierra Leone was quite challenging especially with regards having the right materials and learning environment.
“However, we are planning to go and leave a mark that would continue to foster the relationship between Sierra Leone and Serbia and also seek knowledge that would help to contribute to the development of the country,” she expressed optimism..
The Deputy Secretary to the Minister of Higher Technical Education, Idrissa Sannoh explained that the scholarships were advertised also pointing out that because of the age limitation criterion which required applicants to be below 23 years of age only 60 applicants were received also stating that Sia and Iysata were the lucky ones among the lot.