FRANCIS CHEWE, Lusaka
EDUCATION is now a term that our ears are attuned to. Since time immemorial, education has been a priority in Zambia. Founding father, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and his government built a good number of colleges and encouraged citizens by introducing free education. Today, the population of Zambia has grown, but still most Zambians are not educated.
With the introduction of private education institutions, people now have an alternative; whether to go to a government or private college.
On August 24 this year, Eden Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Copperbelt University (CBU). The MoU is aimed at providing educational collaboration services.
The MoU also seeks to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions in order to provide jointly and valuable academic relations.
Institute executive director Kelvin Kaunda said the organisation was inspired to sign the MoU with CBU because of the rich profile that the university has in providing quality education.
Mr Kaunda said the quality standard mandate set by CBU stands out and is hopeful that the partnership will yield results. And CBU vice chancellor Naison Ngoma hopes that the partnership stands strong to cushion the human resource deficit in the country.
Professor Ngoma has urged Eden Institute to be honest with CBU in ensuring that the primary objectives of MoU are achieved. The duo was speaking at the education cooperation MoU signing ceremony at CBU in Kitwe.
Eden Institute is also an affiliate of Rusangu University, University of Zambia and Kampala International University. The institute, is a support of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which was opened in 2010 with only 17 students and now has more than 3,000 students at its campuses in Lusaka, Mansa and Lukulu. The MoU will make Eden work even harder to ensure that it produces quality students.
This is because excellent teaching, first of all, enhances the studentsâ€™ attention and convinces them of the importance of what is being taught and learnt.
It goes on to communicate information and concepts and to develop powers of analysis, synthesis, judgement and evaluation, all in the context of commitment. When teaching has truly succeeded, students live with an ability to learn, question and commit on their own.
Then they will contribute towards transforming communities, inspiring and serving humanity through development, innovations and collaborative pursuit of knowledge.
Eden, being a Christian institution with moral and spiritual values, obviously seeks to maintain an atmosphere conducive to a growing fellowship with Jesus Christ.
In its broadest terms, the instituteâ€™s purpose is to promote excellence in teaching and in student learning inside and outside the classroom.
â€œOur goal is to see teaching equally with research as a professional commitment of faculty and teaching assistants and to provide the training and resources to make excellent teaching possible,â€ Mr Kaunda said.
â€œEffective teaching encompasses more than just the transmission of subject matter. However, excellent teaching, first of all, gains the studentsâ€™ attention and convinces them of the importance of what is being taught and learnt.
â€œOur goals for student learning are so complementary that students donâ€™t settle for just learning the content but they should be training their minds and sensibilities for a lifetime responsibility of critical, independent thought and commitment to personal and community goals.
â€œThey should have high expectations of their own efforts and of their lecturersâ€™ efforts. They should see learning as extending far beyond,â€ Mr Kunda said.
â€œEden has quality and dedicated lecturers. The school enjoys its fast and reliable internet facilities. They offer boarding facilities conducive to study. It gives the much-needed spiritual and moral support to students. The school has an updated and fully stocked library. Our students attain a required level of academic understanding and high levels of service delivery.â€
Aside from this, the campus engulfs many other â€œstudent buildingâ€ activities such as football, rugby, debate, public lectures by organisations and successful scholars in the local and international society including fellowship groups or societies.
Most activities from these societies are always put up by way of display on the notice boards. Therefore, while studying at the university, students should make it a habit to check the notice boards every time they visit the campus as classroom notices are publicised in this way as well.
The campus has a student affairs co-ordinator and matron and a student mentor that are role models for the campus. They uphold all campus policy and procedure, and they assist students in navigating through difficult situations throughout the course of the semester.
They also maintain good academic and judicial standing, and act as a resource for new students in providing information about academics, co-curricular activities and student involvement.
Eden Institute has also been registered as one of the institutions to participate in the inter-college tournament at the national level.
Studentsâ€™ union sports coordinator Harrison Singoyi said the team is most likely to have a number of trips this term and that proper arrangements and meetings have been held to get Eden ready to participate at national level. He also said a request letter of affiliation has been written to the inter-college governing board.
This has been done in accordance with the government policy.
Mr Singoyi said though he is leaving office, his legacy to improving sports at Eden must continue, and advised all those willing to take part in different sporting activities to register with him.
He has urged the in-coming coordinator to be hard-working and be ready to sacrifice all his efforts for the betterment of sports at Eden.
As Eden and CBU have shown, it simply means that education is indeed a key to success and for Zambia to develop, there is need to invest in quality education.
FRANCIS CHEWE, Lusaka