Two Harare Institute of Technology student leaders recently went on a study tour of the USA institutions of higher learning funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Participants were drawn from more than 50 000 people participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year.
The students, Pride Kufakwedeke, the HIT Students Representative Council Secretary General, Nigel Babvu, HIT SRC President and four other students from MSU, Solusi, NUST and CUT constituted the Zimbabwean delegation. Other participants were drawn from Angola, Mozambique and South Africa to form a delegation of twenty students who were hosted by the University of Nebraska.
The HIT duo note that the trip made them feel great about being Zimbabwean because they still kept their dignity and sovereignty. Their pride as Africans was never dented, they say because they taught more than they learnt in the US.
“The biggest lesson learnt was to cherish the roots of your country as a first step to its rise. As an individual, you should not only participate in elections and take a back seat. But, one should continuously support the office bearers through attending local meetings in respective communities. A great nation is not only made great by politics, but by responsible citizens. Civic engagement is the least a good citizen can do to make the community better… We can use our acquired skills, whether from school or home, to make this nation great outside politics. The politicians have their job, we have our own tasks to complete,” Say the HIT duo in their report.
The HIT delegation, however noted that it was so disheartening that the Americans do not know much about life outside the US. “This is evidenced by most of the American population encountered during the trip who thought of Africa as a country. Some even think there is no internet in Africa. The American education system has to improve in this field and educate their entire population about the globe since this is the first step towards a united and peaceful world.”