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Monday, 5 July 2010

UNZA debt

Education Minister Dora Siliya recently announced that her Ministry are looking at "ways of dismantling a K630 billion debt the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University owe various creditors". UNZA  owes K380 billion while the Copperbelt University owes K250 billion. A natural question arises how these two important institutions can run in such debts? One may right wonder, if the two universities can run into debt and they are supposed to be the fountains of knowledge, what hope is there for other institutions?  I speculate that this is not surprising given the previously discussed  UNZA disgrace. I now doubt whether higher education funding solutions would make any difference to our education system, though perhaps some may suggest that if people paid through their noses they would be more upfront in demanding better accountability.

1 comment:

  1. If these could be allowed indirectly to rake up huge amounts of debt in billions in face of national abject poverty explains how dispicable and immature our management and leadership systems are in Zambia. Africa as a whole still suffers from negative political interference in the running of education and academic institutions. Instead of government leadership through policies and delegation...African governments always go the whole 10 yards through appointing political kingsmen to higher office of academic institutions and through these bedfellows dictate how to run and manage those institutions.

    The failure of these institution is the failure of our governments to have right and knowledgable proactive people to run the institutions.

    On the otherhand, majority of the academic institutions in africa entirely depends on government funding (handouts) dont have to be sir newton or adman smith to see a correlation between government mismanagement, national economic hardship and failure of academic institutions. If the government of Zambia is facing a financial difficulty.. UNZA and CBU will be the first casualties.

    What we need is a new way of thinking, we need a new model, that allows for autonomy and flexibility in raising of money and incentive for interested entreprenuers to raise private finances. What we have today at CBU and UNZA is a hybrid system where students pay a certain amount and the government supplements...this system has failed period.

    We need to think outside the box and we need to think quickly. A solution that will take into consideration that we are an underdeveloped nation and our resources are few and between. On the positive side, one thing i do think will help in a long term is certainly the introduction of private universities and academic institutions.


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