What RB said at 2nd AIBT graduation ceremony

HONOURABLE MINISTERSbanda
PERMANENT SECRETARIES
SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY (AIBT)
CHANCELLORS AND VICE CHANCELLORS FROM VARIOUS UNIVERSITIES
MEMBERS OF THE AIBT ACADEMIC /ADMINISTRATION TEAM
DEAR GRADUATES
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
IT IS MY HONOUR AND PRIVILEGE TO BE INVITED TO ATTEND THE SECOND GRADUATION CEREMONY OF THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY (AIBT), ZAMBIA. I AM INFORMED THAT YOUR INSTITUTION IS NOW IN ITS FIFTH YEAR OF OPERATION AND HAS HAD CLOSE TO TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY GRADUATES ENTERING THE ZAMBIAN LABOUR MARKET. THIS IS A COMMENDABLE LANDMARK, ACHIEVED WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF YOUR EXISTENCE.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
MY GOVERNMENT HAS PLACED EDUCATION AS A PRIORITY AND, THEREFORE, SUPPORTED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MANY UNIVERSITIES TO OFFER TERTIARY EDUCATION. CURRENTLY THE COUNTRY CAN BOAST OF MORE THAN FOURTEEN (14) UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING THE THREE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES. IT MUST BE STATED THAT THE POLICY OF GOVERNMENT IS TO ENSURE THAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE CREATED FOR OUR SCHOOL LEAVERS TO ATTAIN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.
THE COUNTRY HAS SEEN AN INCREASED NUMBER OF MORE THAN 22,000 PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS APPLYING TO ENTER OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES. UNFORTUNATELY, ONLY HALF OF THIS NUMBER IS ACCEPTED INTO OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES DUE TO INSUFFICIENT PLACES.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
WITH THIS KIND OF LIMITED PLACES IN OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, GOVERNMENT COMMENDS THE EFFORTS BEING MADE BY AIBT AND OTHER PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES WHO ARE COMPLEMENTING THE WORK BEING DONE BY GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY TO OUR SCHOOL LEAVERS TO ACQUIRE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.
TO THIS END, MY GOVERNMENT STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE CONCEPT OF PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN THE PROVISION OF EDUCATION SERVICES. IT IS THROUGH THIS CONCEPT THAT I EXPECT TO SEE AN INCREASE IN THE PROVISION OF QUALITY UNIVERSITY EDUCATION. I COMMEND THE PARTNERSHIPS THAT HAVE BEEN ENTERED INTO BETWEEN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE LOCAL UNIVERSITIES.

NOTABLY, THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN KONKOLA COPPER MINES AND MULUNGUSHI UNIVERSITY IS A CLEAR TESTIMONY OF THIS INNOVATION. SIMILARLY, YOUR PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN AIBT, PERTH INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY (PIBT) AND EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY (ECU) OF AUSTRALIA IS ANOTHER GOOD EXAMPLE.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
EDUCATION IS A PILLAR ON WHICH WE CAN BUILD OUR NATION TO REACH THE MIDDLE-INCOME STATUS. THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED BY BUILDING OUR MUCH NEEDED HUMAN CAPITAL TO SUPPORT OUR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. ZAMBIA CAN ERADICATE POVERTY AND ILLITERACY LEVELS IN THE COUNTRY BY ENSURING THAT OUR CITIZENRY ARE PROVIDED WITH SOUND EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS.
WE NEED TO GENERATE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO FIGHT POVERTY. MOST OF OUR PEOPLE STILL LIVE IN POVERTY BECAUSE OF LACK OF RELEVANT TECHNOLOGIES AND LOW LEVELS OF EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT. THEREFORE, WE NEED QUALITY AND APPROPRIATE SKILLS TO HARNESS THE ABUNDANT NATURAL RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IS IN THE PROCESS OF REVISING THE EDUCATION ACT OF 1996, INCLUDING THE REVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY ACT OF 1999. THESE PROCESSES ARE MEANT TO IMPROVE OUR LEGISLATION ON EDUCATION, AS WELL AS TO BRIDGE GAPS IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.
THE COMING OF LIBERALIZATION IN THE EARLY 1990S HAS GIVEN RISE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MANY PRIVATE EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS. INDEED SOME MAY HAVE NOT MET THE STANDARDS WE EXPECT. THEREFORE, I EXPECT THE MINISTRY TO PUT MECHANISMS IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS ARE ADHERED TO.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
LET ME NOW TURN TO THE GRADUATING STUDENTS. THIS DAY IS A MILESTONE IN YOUR LIVES BECAUSE IT IS A DAY THAT WILL MARK YOUR ENTERING ANOTHER PHASE. I COMMEND YOU FOR YOUR HAVING COMPLETED YOUR STUDIES SUCCESSFULLY. I KNOW IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY BUT YOU STRUGGLED WITH EARNEST DETERMINATION TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION. AS A GOVERNMENT, WE ARE DOING OUR BEST TO ENSURE THAT WE CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR GRADUATES.
MAY I ALSO URGE YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET TO THINK SELF-EMPLOYED, INSTEAD OF ONLY SEARCHING TO BE EMPLOYED. I WISH TO ENCOURAGE OUR GRADUATES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOME OF THE POLICIES MY GOVERNMENT HAS PUT IN PLACE FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOU CITIZENS. THE CITIZEN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT COMMISSION (CEEC) ADVOCATES FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO EMPOWER ZAMBIANS TO BE SELF SUSTAINING BY BECOMING EMPLOYERS THEMSELVES THROUGH VARIOUS PRIVATE BUSINESS PROJECTS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
ALLOW ME NOW TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS YOUNG ZAMBIANS. THERE IS VALUE IN EDUCATION, ESPECIALLY QUALITY EDUCATION.
A RECENT ZAIN DEBATE ON TELEVISION WHICH PITTED KENYATA UNIVERSITY AGAINST ONE OF OUR UNIVERSITIES CLEARLY SHOWED THE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT IN OUR UNIVERSITY STANDARDS. WE AS GOVERNMENT MUST LOOK FOR MORE RESOURCES TO BUY BOOKS AND EQUIP OUR LIBRARIES, LABORATORIES AND OTHER ESSENTIAL NECESSITITIES FOR QUALITY EDUCATION TO BE REALISED.
BUT HAND IN HAND WITH THIS, THE STUDENTS MUST ACCEPT THAT THEY, TOO, MUST SACRIFICE TIME AND CERTAIN COMFORTS. OUR ZAMBIAN STUDENTS MUST LEARN TO VALUE EDUCATION AND DEVOTE TIME TO STUDIES.
I AM AWARE THAT, AS YOUNG PEOPLE, THEY NEED TIME TO SOCIALISE, GO TO PARTIES AND CINEMAS. THIS, HOWEVER, MUST BE BALANCED WITH AN UNDERSTANDING THAT DEVELOPMENT AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL AND AT THE COUNTRY LEVEL IS DEPENDENT ON ACQUISITION OF QUALITY EDUCATION.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
IT ALSO SADDENS ME WHEN I SEE YOUNG PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY STUDENTS, RESORTING TO VIOLENT WAYS OF EXPRESSING VIEWS. LET US LEARN TO DIALOGUE AND AVOID UNNECESSARY DISTURBANCES AT LEARNING INSTITUTIONS.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, OUR FIGHT WAS FOR POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE. WE WERE PREPARED TO TRAVEL ACROSS OUR COUNTRY LIVING WITHOUT FOOD SOMETIMES, FACING ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT. OURS WAS A PHYSICAL AND MORAL FIGHT.
YOUR FIGHT TODAY AS YOUNG PEOPLE IS THE ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION AND (POVERTY ALLEVIATION) OF OUR COUNTRY. YOURS IS A FIGHT OF SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE. YOU AND YOUR COUNTRY ARE COMPETING ON THE WORLD LEVEL. TO WIN YOU HAVE TO BE BETTER PREPARED THAN YOUR COMPETITORS. YOUR LEVEL AND QUALITY OF EDUCATION IS WHAT WILL DETERMINE SUCCESS OR FAILURE.
YOU HAVE TO BE THE VERY BEST TO PROGRESS. YOU WON’T ACHIEVE THIS BY RIOTING EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A GRIEVANCE.
REMEMBER AT ALL TIMES OF THE SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY WHICH YOU HAVE, TO BE IN UNIVERSITY WHICH OTHERS DO NOT HAVE. CHERISH AND USE THIS OPPORTUNITY WELL.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
AS ALREADY STATED, GRADUATING DOES NOT MEAN THE END OF HARD WORK OR SACRIFICE; IT IS THE BEGINNING OF A LONG JOURNEY TOWARDS REACHING HIGHER HEIGHTS OF PRODUCTIVITY AS WELL AS CAREER ACCELERATION.

EDITH COWN UNIVERSITY AND AIBT HAVE PROVIDED YOU WITH SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXCEL IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVOURS. AS YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR COUNTRY. I CONGRATULATE YOU FOR THIS BECAUSE IT IS NOT A MEAN ACHIEVEMENT AT ALL. I CONGRATULATE ALL THE STUDENTS FROM THE THREE FACULTIES NAMELY: BUSINESS, COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE UNDERGRADUATE AND POST GRADUATE LEVELS.
AT A PERSONAL LEVEL, KINDLY PERMIT ME TO ADDRESS THE FIRST LADY, MRS THANDIWE BANDA. I WANT TO CONGRATULATE YOU FOR ACQUIRING THIS ADVANCED DIPLOMA. I AM PROUD THAT YOU HAVE DONE THIS WHILE CARRYING OUT OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES PLACED ON YOU BY YOUR STATUS AS FIRST LADY.
I WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT THERE IS MORE TO BE ACHIEVED AND YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO ASPIRE FOR EVEN HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS. IT IS A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND FOR OUR COUNTRY AS A WHOLE.
I AM HAPPY THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED WITH MY ENCOURAGEMENT AND TUTELAGE. YOU WILL, NO DOUBT, RECALL THAT MY FATHER IN LAW, YOUR FATHER, WAS ANXIOUS WHEN WE GOT MARRIED, CITING HIS DESIRE THAT YOU GO FURTHER IN YOUR EDUCATION.
IN GRADUATING WITH AN ADVANCED DIPLOMA UNDER MY TUTELAGE AND THAT OF AIBT, I AM SURE MY FATHER IN LAW’S CONCERNS MUST HAVE SOMEWHAT EASED. I AM PROUD OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENT.
TO ALL SPOUSES OUT THERE IN OUR COUNTRY, I URGE YOU TO ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER TO ATTAIN HIGHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL OVER THE WORLD. THAT IS HOW COUNTRIES DEVELOP AND ARE MOVING FORWARD.
I WISH ALL OF YOU THE BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR VARIOUS DISCIPLINES. MAY I ALSO THANK THE MEMBERS OF STAFF AT AIBT FOR THEIR TIRELESS EFFORTS TO MAKE THIS DAY A REALITY.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

THANK YOU.

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