The National Resources Development College (NRDC) will reopen today, after being shut down on October 16 following riots.

The students had rioted against management’s decision not to allow all those who failed some examinations to proceed in their studies.

And in a statement yesterday, ZANASU information and publicity secretary Assa Williey commended government for agreeing to reopen the institution.

“The Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) welcomes the decision by Government and the National Resources Development College (NRDC) to reopen the college this Wednesday and calls on students and Management to always pursue dialogue in resolving problems that lead to demonstrations and premature closure of institutions of higher learning. ZANASU commends the Ministries of Agriculture, Higher Education and NRDC Management for reaching a decision which has been made in the best interest of students as indefinite closure of institutions of higher learning can have adverse impact on student progression and the reputation of an institution of higher learning,” Williey stated.

“In the last few days, ZANASU had, in the background been working with students at NRDC and visited the institution to persuade management to reopen the institution and we thank NRDC students for remaining calm and focused.”

She stated that closing down institutions whenever problems arose was not the solution.

“We however wish to remind authorities that closure of institutions of higher learning when problems arise never resolves the core problems that gives rise to discontent among students. Both students and authorities must always to engage each other on resolving problems before such escalate into demonstrations that can avoided at all costs. We are aware of the Zambia Institute for Business and Information Technology (ZIBSIP) that remains closed to date and call for intervention by government to have the college reopened. For this reason, ZANASU remains resolute in our calls to recognise and strengthen students’ unions as a vehicle in which authorities and management have an equal platform to dialogue. The existence and respect for Students’ Unions in institutions of higher learning must be encouraged and viewed as platform for which authorities can effectively engage students in redressing problems that affect them,” stated Williey.

“We thus call on Government to expedite the process of allowing activities of students’ unions in other institutions of higher learning such as Copperbelt University, Chalimbana University, Nkrumah University, among other public institutions without student leadership. This situation is not desirable and we appeal to authorities to correct this situation.”