The Zambian government is making progress in the educational sector and doing all it can to ensure that students receive a high-quality education. In doing so, students will be better equipped for the world of work. Within the last year, from 2016 to 2017, students at tertiary level in the country have experienced certain changes and some of the changes will be outlined below.
43 Prospective Zambia Universities fail to meet the University Standards
In 2016, according to the Higher Education Authority director general, Professor Stephen Simukanga, 43 of the universities that applied to be recognised institutions failed to meet up to the standards set for registration and accreditation. In total, 53 applications were received, but only 10 were deemed to be suitable and received the required approval. however, only 10 universities were qualified and approved. The professor urged higher education institutions to step up their game and improve their standards so as to be accredited by the Zambian authority.
The number of Bursaries increased
The University of Gambia (UNZA) has recorded a dramatic growth as the government increased the number of bursaries from 2,009 to 2,653. However, some students were inciting riots at the institutions, and three of them, all male students have been suspended by the government.
The Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo has said that the increase in number of beneficiary students came about after a request was received by the ministry of finance for additional funding.
University of Zambia student population now stands at 30 000
Damaseke Chibale, who is the Public Relations and International Liaison Manager in the University of Zambia (UNZA) has disclosed that there is a growing number of students enrolling into tertiary institutions. The number of students is now over 30,000, including parallel and distance programs. At the moment, extra three schools have been introduced by the university, namely Nursing, Health sciences and Public Health, making the total number of schools 13. The school is partnering with European contributors to ensure a stable ground for education is achieved.
In 2017, the students of UNZA reiterated that their protest would continue if their grievances and demands aren’t met. The students are protesting over certain issues, one of which is the lecturers’ go-slow, and they vowed to keep protesting if their demands aren’t met by the government. During the protest, students were seen blocking roads and chanting protests songs. Their grievances is fueled by the fact that their studies will be affected by the go-slow their lecturers embarked on; not only their studies, also, their projects and accommodation allowances will be affected.
In another development, the government has shut down Mulungushi University due to protests by students. The protests by students were fueled after the school management announced an increase in school tuition fees. Since mid-April 2017, the students have been protesting, boycotting classes, destroying university properties and private vehicles.
Government forced to introduce entrance exams to colleges and universities
Due to examination information being leaked and general malpractice at grade 12 level, the government has been forced to introduce Entrance Examinations for students before they can be admitted in colleges and Universities. In 2017, according to The Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, the government will implement this shortly.