The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC), a composition of 68 education and skills sector oriented civil society organizations has welcomed the decision by government to split up the University of Zambia in several specialized University Colleges for the purpose of improving efficiency. ZANEC supports progressive ideas and will monitor that this particular decision when implemented improves the quality of service delivery at the University of Zambia.
ZANEC has always stood for promoting efficiency, quality and ensuring accountability in public institutions. It is clear UNZA has been lacking efficiency lately judging by the huge debt and unsatisfactory quality of education provided. This is against a background of ZANEC’s firm support of the Higher Education Act of 2013, whose objectives includes improving efficiency in the operations in Institutions of Higher Learning.
It’s a clear that UNZA has been recording a drop in standards both in academics and administration because of the growth in size. The university has introduced a number of new programs and schools without getting the equivalent adjustments administratively.
ZANEC is eager to see the details of the proposed splitting of UNZA into University Colleges. More importantly, we want to see this pronouncement translated into costs and timelines. We have been in contacted the Ministry of Higher Education to know the detailed modalities that this decision will take. We have been assured that the Ministry will get back to us once the Permanent Secretary receives official communication from Cabinet once this comprehensive feedback is received from the Ministry, we shall as a stakeholder take time to analyze and give our position.
We believe, with commitment from the government as the major stakeholder in UNZA, we can still improve its operations. We hope that the measure will bring back the lost prestige and quality in academic production UNZA was once renowned for and hence a source of pride to all patriotic Zambians.
This is a major decision that Cabinet has made and we are pleased that ‘improving efficiency’ has been given as justification for the idea.
We therefore urge all stakeholder in the education and skills sector and those outside to take keen interest in such key policy announcements if duty bearers are to be kept accountable for each and every decision they make. Such decisions need to be monitored to the letter and spirit of their intended purpose.
On behalf of the ZANEC members, we once more appreciate Cabinet decision and await the detailed breakdown of the implementation road map through the Ministry of Higher Education.
ZAMBIA NATIONAL EDUCATION COALITION
Grace B Manyonga
Issued on 17th August 2017