HIGHER learning institutions students’ bodies in Zambia have described the first three months of President Hakainde Hichilema’s UPND government as “very disappointing” for the learners who had high expectations that have either been snubbed or ignored.
Copperbelt University Student’s Union (COBUSU) president, Lawrence Kasonde said that the student bodies have been very disappointed with the manner in which the New Dawn administration has handled student affairs.
Kasonde said that the students are disappointed that the government had lamentably failed to meet the aspirations of the students who turned up in numbers to vote for anticipated change.
He cited the recent government failure to secure resources to provide education loans to 8, 004 eligible first-year University of Zambia students for the 2022-2023 academic year as another blow to the student fraternity.
Kasonde further lamented that the government had ignored the cries of students who have continued to be denied a chance to write examinations because they owed the universities or colleges school fees.
He said that some students at a named university were not allowed to write supplementary examinations because they owed the school.
Kasonde said that this was brought to the attention of the government, but nothing has been done.
He also observed that the merging of the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Higher Education had brought untold misery to the higher learning institutions.
Kasonde said that higher learning institutions had their own challenges that needed a dedicated ministry that would attend to the challenges in a prompt manner.
He, therefore, advised the government to rethink its decision to merge the two ministries.
And Zambia National Student’s Union (ZANASU) general secretary, Issach Mambwe said that the failure by the government to secure loans for the over 8, 000 eligible first-year University of Zambia students threatens the country’s aspirations of becoming a prosperous middle-income economy by 2030.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to ensure that at least 50 percent of those left out are awarded loans by January next year.
Mambwe also appealed to the government to ensure that students in private colleges and universities are also considered in the government education loan scheme.
He said that vulnerable children were not just in public institutions and as such a need to extend the facility to private institutions. – Lusaka Times