The Zambia National Student Unions (ZANASU) has asked government to resolve the impasse between the Health Practitioners Council of Zambia (HPCZ) and Lusaka Apex and Cavendish universities to allow the institutions to re-open.
Union secretary general Isaac Mwanza said closing institutions or withdrawing programmes must only be an option of last resort, adding that government should instead ensure that the institutions adhere to the set rules and regulations.
“The Zambia National Student Unions (ZANASU), an umbrella body for all students unions in Zambia, sympathise with students from Lusaka Apex and Cavendish Universities for the inconvenience leading to withdrawal of licenses by the Health Practitioners Council of Zambia and the continued impasse in resolving the issue. The existing situation is deeply regrettable and calls for timely resolution of the problem so that students are not inconvenienced any further,” Mwanza stated in a statement, Tuesday.
“We, however, wish to state that ZANASU cannot allow institutions of higher learning to employ half-backed lecturers and entrust education of Zambian students into their hands. This has potential to contribute towards grooming of half-backed and less-skilled graduates. ZANASU calls on Minister of Higher Education, Professor Nkandu Luo, to ensure her Ministry intensifies inspection of all universities and colleges to ensure competent lecturers are employed and adequate facilities provided for use by our students.”
He urged private institutions of higher learning to put the interest of students and the education of a nation ahead of profits.
“Where problems arise or are discovered, closing institutions or withdrawing programmes must only be an option of last resort. Authorities are encouraged to find ways to ensure adherence or compliance. ZANASU recognizes that the country is witnessing the mushrooming of many private institutions of higher learning that have no laboratories and do not offer practical learning or research to its students. The country cannot expect to develop scientists when potential scientists have never seen a test tube or Bunsen burner,” stated Mwanza.
“We cannot develop good agriculturalists if institutions are not offering hands-on practicals and neither can we expect to groom good nutritionists if students of food and nutrition don’t know how a microwave works. As much as most of our private institutions of higher learning are in business, they must put the interest of students first and the education of a nation ahead of the profits by recruiting competent people and providing facilities that enhance learning.”