Editor's Comment

Enough is enough

THE inevitable closure of the Copperbelt University because of students’ riotous behaviour calls for serious reflection by all stakeholders.
It is an unpardonable ‘sin’ for students or indeed any other citizens to turn to riotous acts when faced with a challenge, imaginary or real, that can otherwise be resolved through dialogue.
It is a serious indictment on the students, especially in institutions of higher learning, whose understanding of issues is expected to be above average, to resort to archaic ways and means of resolving their perceived problems.
Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo had been advising and even warning students against behaviour that negates Government’s endeavours to improve service delivery in the education sector.
Zambia is in need of an educated citizenry whose contribution to national development would move the country closer to its desires expressed in the Seventh National Development Plan.
Government, on its part, has invested heavily in the sector through infrastructure and human resource development. This was after the realisation of the widely-held view, now fact, that education is key to development. There are hundreds of schools at various levels being built across the country. All Zambians are witnesses to this.
Access to education has greatly improved in the last few years. Subsequently, enrolment at various levels starting with preschool to tertiary education is showing impressive figures.
The schools in all districts of the country have been built at a great cost to all citizens. For some, Government had to borrow resources to build.
It is, therefore, important that all citizens look after the infrastructure well. It will benefit the current and future generations.
That is why the behaviour of CBU students over a resolvable academic matter is highly condemnable and unacceptable.
It is regrettable that the act of some rogue elements has now affected the entire institution. Innocent students, in their thousands, will now have to go back to their homes because a few of their friends – in reality enemies – acted irresponsibly. And the re-opening may not be any time soon.
If we may ask: How does a dispute get resolved through damage to university property? Who really suffers when a university such as CBU is closed?
We urge managements at CBU and other universities to take matters of discipline seriously by acting earnestly to forestall destruction to property.
What is regrettable in the case of CBU is that President Edgar Lungu had warned of stern action if the damage to property was perpetrated. Barely hours after the fatherly counsel, some students with criminal elements but masquerading as learners damaged more property.
Such behaviour is not only criminal but evil to the core. Perpetrators of such vices are a danger to society and should be isolated. And because their acts are of criminal nature, they have to be prosecuted.
Such misconduct should no longer have a place in our modern society, especially now that the country is on its development highway.
We need to churn out responsible agriculturists, doctors, economists, engineers, journalists, lawyers and many others but acts witnessed at CBU take the country many decades back.
We urge all stakeholders to deeply reflect on the cause of the closure and put in place preventive and corrective measures.
Management should immediately institute disciplinary action in a firm and fair manner in accordance with the institution’s disciplinary code. Erring elements should not be allowed back at the university. They should be blacklisted so that they do not enrol at any other public learning institution.
Enough is enough.

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