Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says her Ministry will move Zambia away from the unionized leadership in colleges and universities, saying students unions “can take even your last bit of blood”.
And Professor Luo says government is reviewing some higher learning institutions in the country and re-igniting their mandate, saying several of them had run away from their objectives and were making business out of education.
Speaking in parliament today, Prof Luo said she does not think learning institutions need students unions.
“Even in the way that our students will be working. I don’t think our institutions should have unions. Unions will take even your last bit of blood. What we need in our institutions is to introduce guild leadership. And this is some of the consultations I will be taking with the students themselves and stakeholders, and churches so that Zambia moves away from unionism in our institutions of higher learning to another level of leadership known as guild leadership. So madam speaker I think we are on course,” Prof Luo said.
“Madam speaker as a result of that, we are reviewing a lot of our institutions in this country and re-igniting their mandate and I think we will see a very big change by next year on what our mandate is and what we are supposed to do. Am also very surprised that a lot of our technical schools started promoting business courses. This is again because of an issue called attitude. An issue of not knowing your mandate. Our institutions of higher learning in this country have run away from their mandate, they think they are civil servants and they also think that they can make business out of education.”
The Minister advised all academicians trying to get rich out of academia to move out of the career and work in the private sector.
“Madam speaker if anybody who is an academician thinks that they will get rich from academia, they are wasting their time. If you want money! you move out of academia and go and start working in the private sector. The wealth of an academic madam speaker is spoken by your deeds,” said Prof Luo.
“As I am talking here madam speaker, maybe somebody is quoting my work in the united states or they are quoting my work in Japan. That is the wealth of an academician and this is what our people in institutions of higher learning should know because they have also started running from one institution to another to teach and make more money. And I think that our universities have gone astray. And from the time I got to this Ministry, I have been bringing them back to what academia is. The people that will remain in those institutions should be such.”