The Zambia National Students Union has advised Copperbelt University’s management to quickly employ remedial measures that will allow reinstatement of programmes that have been withdrawn by the HPCZ to avoid inconveniencing students.
And ZANASU has commended the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) for being proactive in ensuring that institutions of higher learning do not compromise set standards of education.
On Friday, HPCZ ordered CBU to immediately discontinue offering two programmes at its School of Medicine for failure to meet set standards in accordance with the Health Professions Act.
HPCZ withdrew the recognition and approval of the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and the Bachelor of Dental Surgery after a recent compliance monitoring inspection revealed gross over-enrolment of students, inadequate number of lecturers and engaging unregistered and unlicensed lecturers that are health practitioners.
In a statement issued Friday, ZANASU Information and Publicity Secretary Assa Williey stated that the decision by HPCZ was an indictment on the crisis facing higher education in Zambia and the laxity by public officials mandated to ensure that universities and colleges met the required standards.
He called on the Copperbelt University management to quickly put in place remedial measures to allow HPCZ to reinstate the programmes that had been withdrawn.
“ZANASU therefore calls on management of the Copperbelt University to quickly put in place remedial measures to allow the HPCZ to reinstate the programmes that have been withdrawn and closed so that registered students are not inconvenienced any further. We also wish to salute [HPCZ registrar] Dr [Aaron] Mujajati and his Council for being proactive in ensuring that our institutions of higher learning do not compromise on set standards which has capacity to affect the safety of the public when unqualified students graduate,” Williey stated.
“We call upon those tasked with registering institutions of higher learning to not only take interest in the monetary requirements for those wishing to establish universities and colleges, the majority of which are run from homes, but also ensure that institutions are only registered when they have sufficient facilities to run as an institution of higher learning.”
He stated that ZANASU would not side with institutions that compromised the standards of higher education by employing unqualified or unregistered lecturers.
Williey, however, bemoaned the inconvenience caused on students when programmes are withdrawn.
“While Zambia must continue to increase the number of institutions of higher learning to ensure that all citizens obtain access to higher education, the country cannot afford to compromise on the quality of students that these private and public universities are producing to engaging unqualified lecturers, failure to provide sufficient teaching aids for practical learning such as laboratories. ZANASU insists on the quality of students being offloaded on the capital market than quantity of students who should merely possess degrees and diplomas,” stated Williey.