By Nation Reporter
Government is committed to ensuring improved tertiary education through infrastructural development across the country, says President Edgar Lungu.
President Lungu said he was aware of the challenges that UNZA and other higher institutions of learning were facing.
In a speech read for him by the Minister of Gender Professor Nkandu Luo at the official opening of the University of Zambia (UNZA) Golden jubilee celebrations, President Lungu said government would continue to employ various ways to improve the education sector in Zambia.
“I am aware of the challenges UNZA is facing; Government will continue to employ various ways to improve the education sector in the country. My Government is considering to review the education Act so as to provide policy direction for higher education to flourish,” said the head of State.
Prof Luo at the same occasion officially commissioned the construction of a K40 million multi-purpose teaching facility at the institution.
President Lungu noted that UNZA had played a noble mandate in the development agenda of Zambia considering that it had grown from 335 students at the time of its inception to well over 30,000 students and had produced over 50,000 graduates – 37 per cent being females and 63 per cent males since 1966.
“At the time of inception, UNZA only had three schools namely the school of education, humanities and natural sciences, but now has 10 schools due to increased demand,” he said.
The Head of State challenged the University Council to reflect on UNZA’s history to ensure that the institution played a leading role in research to help the nation generate solutions to most problems being experienced in various sectors.
The President also challenged UNZA students to use dialogue whenever they were aggrieved unlike resorting to violent methods.
“I call upon the students to seriously reflect on the reason they are at this institution because it is imperative for all well-meaning Zambians to join hands to ensure that UNZA develops,” said President Lungu.
Speaking at the same event, first republican president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda noted with concern the challenges UNZA was facing, some of which include highly indebtedness, lack of accommodation and late payment of salaries.
“This does not augur well for those who wish to serve this institution, especially that they are qualified workers who can work anywhere in the world. All of you comrades in the administration of UNZA rise and make it your task to solve the problems being experienced at this institution,” said Dr. Kaunda.
Dr. Kaunda said that throughout his tenure as President and first Chancellor of the University of Zambia, his task was to ensure UNZA was kept afloat even in times of problems.