Editor's Comment

Sata unveils improved education infrastructure

LEARNING institutions in the country have been facing a daunting task to provide quality education but lack of inadequate funding has been a serious challenge.
This has left some institutions operating with dilapidated infrastructure and inadequate staff, which puts pressure on the few available teachers.
On its part, government has been mobilising financial resources for infrastructure improvement, building more schools and employing more teachers to meet the challenge.
That is because the PF government has set education and skills development as an overall goal of achieving national development.
We commend this initiative because an educated citizenry will enhance development by improving productivity, which will contribute to national growth.
The importance government attaches to education and skills development can also be reflected in the President’s speech when he opened the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.
President Sata outlined a number of successes government has scored in the sector since assuming office in order to improve access and the quality of education.
So far, government has completed construction of 41 of the targeted 84 secondary schools, which is 49 percent rate within a short period while the remaining 43 schools are still under construction.
The President last year committed government to building at least one university in each of the 10 provinces and so far, construction works are going on at Robert Makasa, Paul Mushindo and Palabana universities.
We are optimistic that all these universities will go a long way in enhancing the quality of education while at the same time improve access to tertiary education.
One overwhelming problem our education system has been grappling with is inadequate bed spaces in learning institutions starting from secondary schools, colleges to universities.
The problem is so crippling that it has even disrupted learning, led to student riots and remains a threat to peaceful learning and completion of semesters.
We have seen learning institutions go on premature closures and this must come to an end.
This is why we welcome government’s commitment to ending this perennial problem which affects all the main public universities.
The construction of 4,160 bed-spaces at University of Zambia, 3,200 at Copperbelt University, 1,280 at Mulungushi University and another 960 bed-spaces at Evelyn Hone College will address this critical shortage of accommodation and must be commended.
Lack of bed-spaces has resulted in the mushrooming of boarding houses in the country, and these do not provide a conducive learning environment.
Some students have tended to misbehave in such environments where they find themselves with too much freedom to engage in abuse of alcohol and illegal sexual activities resulting in pregnancies.
We are, therefore, encouraged to see government initiatives to address the shortcoming in our education system so that more people in Zambia have access to better education.
As the say, knowledge is power and having an education opens people to opportunities for employment and enlightens them to be entrepreneurs which all go a long way in putting more money in people’s pockets thus reducing poverty.

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