ALLIANCE for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti has called on the University of Zambia (UNZA) management to rescind their decision and let students owing the institution to still write their examinations.
In an interview, Miti observed that it was clear that the country was under economic stress, adding that government was to blame for the current situation as they had continued misusing public resources meant to improve access to education.
“UNZA should allow the students to write their exams, especially given the year we have had in which everybody is facing stress. Even the very government cannot pay its debt, so we are in a very bad economic environment. Most of those students could have been on bursaries if government had no misused resources that should go to services. The reason why so many students are not on some kind of scholarship or loan is that resources that are meant to educate young people have been misused,” Miti said.
She said that it was dangerous for a country that was in a tense economic situation for government institutions not to understand young people’s circumstances.
“Apart from that, we have to manage the situation we are in. The problem with this country is we run the country not taking into account the circumstances of the majority of people. We come up with these rules that can only work for those in the upper-brackets of income and yet the majority citizens are struggling and poor. So, we have to understand this country, understanding the circumstances we are in; you cannot just decide that such people are going to stop school. It seems as though government is stalking the public, it is provoking the public to see what they can do,” said Miti.
“I would say that it is very dangerous where a country is so tense; people are hungry and government institutions fail to take into account the circumstances of young people. I do understand, on the other hand, that the University of Zambia has to run, but it is not only the University of Zambia, even schools are not getting their disbursements; secondary schools, primary schools are not getting their money from government. So, we are in a crisis! So, it is not the fault of University management, but University management must take into account the situation in which we have found ourselves as a country.”
On Wednesday during a media briefing, UNZA vice chancellor Professor Luke Mumba said the institution would provide deferred exams next month for students that had failed to write their November exams.
He explained this would give students ample time to source for funds to pay what they owed the institution.