Copperbelt University closed

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The Copperbelt University in Kitwe has been closed.

This follows disturbances at the institution which started two days ago.

The students on Wednesday rioted for what they saw as unprofessional reporting by the MMD propaganda facility ZNBC.

Police have since opened dockets for some students who took part in the riots. They damaged private property and police claim that they also stole money from victims.

The univesity management Friday decided to shut the university indefinately.

The police are expected to move in and force students out of campus.

And Ernest Mwape in Mpkika reports that a former unionist has expressed disappointment at the manner the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government is handling the education system in the country.

And the vulnerable group in society is failing to access the bursary because rich people have allegedly hijacked it.

Speaking in an interview in Mpika today, former Workers Union of TAZARA in Zambia (WUTAZ) General Secretary Cyprian Mulenga said the current education system in the country was pathetic.

Mulenga alleged that the education standard had declined in the recent years because the ruling MMD was not paying much attention to improving the sector other than politicizing it.

Mulenga noted that the education system seemed to have remained for the rich who take their children to private schools and colleges where there were good equipment, while public institutions were ill funded. “The MMD leadership is not interested in improving public institutions of learning because they always prefer sending their children to private schools and colleges,” he noted.

He said it was appalling to note that the MMD leadership had continued to ignore the fact that the forefathers fought for independence because they wanted everyone to be free and receive quality education.

He said while he appreciated that education was very expensive, the onus was on government to ensure that its citizenry received quality education regardless of the status in society. “It is the more reason we elect government to ensure that the sharing of the little resources is fairly done to enable the vulnerable group in society educate their children,” Mulenga said.

The former General Secretary warned that unless the cost of education which he said had reached an alarming proportion was checked, the poor would fail to educate their children. He claimed that the cost of education system in the country was very high as if there was no government to control it.

He said the continuous skyrocketing of education system was not healthy because it was encouraging divisions in the nation which was unheard of in the Kaunda era.

“While the nation is busy singing the song of children have a right to quality education, the government seems not to be controlling the cost of quality education,” Mulenga said.

Mulenga who pointed out that had the cost of education in Kaunda government been as higher as at the present time, the country could have not produced the professionals being seen today. He observed that since the nation was blessed with abundant resources, government should ensure that the large chunk was channeled towards improving the education to avoid the future generation from blaming them.

He observed that since the bursary was not benefiting the intended target groups, government should make a comprehensive review of the whole system with a view to scrapping it off. “How do you introduce some thing to help the poor and yet those in need are not accessing it, is there any fairness?” he asked.

Mulenga said unless government takes the lead to control the bursary, the poor would continue suffering.

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