NGOs calls for reform at UNZA, CBU
By Staff Reporter
National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has called on both University of Zambia and Copperbelt University to reform into institutions of innovation and productivity.
NAQEZ Executive Director Aaron Chansa says the perpetual ugly times of industrial chaos at the two highest Universities over delayed salaries are very embarrassing, affecting quality learning and a huge indictment on how Zambia values University education.
Chansa said that NAQEZ is aware of historical financial bottlenecks at the two Universities, especially at UNZA.
“However, we want to say that these issues are not insurmountable and cannot be allowed to run forever. We chiefly blame the Ministry of Higher Education for its failure to dismantle the old dues owed to retired and serving UNZA and CBU employees,” he said.
“It is astonishing that today, UNZA still has on its payroll people who retired more than 10 years ago. These people are yet to get their benefits and hence giving them monthly salaries. In as much as this may sound abominable, this thing is real. This retired group gobbles in excess of K8million in their monthly salaries. This is being too wasteful and ought to be halted.”
He said as he condemns the treasury for untimely release of UNZA and CBU grants, he holds the view that the two institutions should also take a significant blame for being too lazy and too dependent on government funding.
Chansa added that a quick check on privately owned Universities such as University of Lusaka, Open University, Rusangu, Cavendish, Apex University and many others are managing to pay salaries to Lecturers.
“These private Universities have fewer students and some of them charge lesser fees than those charged by UNZA and CBU. Why are UNZA and CBU failing to raise funds even for salaries when smaller Universities are managing? This noble question deserves honest answers from the two management teams,” he questioned.
“NAQEZ proposes that both UNZA and CBU must drastically reform. The two entities can make use of the vast land masses they possess to venture into commercial farming and craft many profitable Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).”
He said when his organization calls for organizational reformation at CBU and UNZA, he continues to demand that government through Higher Education Ministry must cultivate a culture of valuing education by clearing outstanding financial matters at UNZA and CBU, complete construction of hotels at Higher institutions of learning and timely release of money owned to Universities in form of bursaries and loans.
“If this money could be given to Universities, it could go a long way in alleviating major problems currently obtaining at these very important institutions,” he further added.