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Universities, colleges set for major reform, says Luo

KATONGO LUMPA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Higher Education Nkandu Luo says her ministry will reform the curriculum in institutions of higher learning to promote science and technology.
Professor Luo said the government also wants to reform the curriculum to align it with the diversification of the economy from dependency on copper to agriculture.
She said to support the country’s economic programmes, the ministry is building on the agenda to keep science at the core of development.
In an interview yesterday, Prof Luo said the current education system calls for a lot of reform and that the ministry expects a lot of change next year.
“The President [Edgar Lungu] in his statement highlighted the need to diversify agriculture in order to improve the economy, and we as a ministry are looking at reshaping the curriculum towards agriculture and technology,” Prof Luo said.
She said research institutions need to revise their agenda and invite research that is development-oriented which will help the country move forward.
Prof Luo said the ministry has been allocated money from the national budget for the improvement of infrastructure in learning institutions.
She said the ministry is looking into improving the infrastructure of universities by the end of 2017.
“We will continue improving the infrastructure of universities and those that have 95 percent of the works done, we will see that the projects are completed in the quickest possible time,” Prof Luo said.
And Prof Luo said the loan scheme will be implemented in 2018 but that the groundwork has already begun.
She said the Bursaries Committee will be transformed into the Human Resource Skills Development Division that will have an information system to collect data on the skills sets that are depleted.
Prof Luo said because there will be new responsibilities that will arise in the new body, there will be need for the recruitment of personnel that will suit those responsibilities.
She said the academic sector faced a number of challenges in 2016 with the major one being rioting.
“Academic institutions are centres of knowledge. They are not centres for riots. We would like to transform our academic institutions into centres of knowledge which citizens can look to in times of crisis,” Prof Luo said.

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