University of Zambia Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Simukanga has said the increasing number of school leavers in Zambia calls for an increase in the number of universities to accommodate those qualifying for degree programmes.
Professor Simukanga said Zambia was lagging behind in the number of institutions providing universities saying the move to transform Nkrumah College of education into a university was a welcome milestone in the development of education in Zambia.
Prof. Simukanga simukanga who was guest of honour, was speaking during the graduation ceremony of 1, 516 diploma graduands at the institution on Friday.
Prof. Simukanga urged those involved in the transformation exercise to speed up the process so that the college could become a university college and hoped that more Zambians would access university education.
He said after transformation, he did not expect the institution to charge the same fees because the expectations would be different and therefore adjustments to the fees was inevitable.
He however said the adjustments should take into account the conflicting issues of the ability to pay and the requirements to provide good quality education adding that the adjustments should not make people fail but should leave room for more people to access education at the institution.
Prof. Simukanga said government had embarked on an ambitious program aimed at increasing the number of basic schools in the country and thereby provide nine years of education to the majority of the children.
He said Nkrumah college had a big role to play in the implementation of this program to upgrade teachers that were trained to teach at primary school level to enable them teach in those basic schools.
‘This is an enormous task; it is nonetheless a task I am convinced you will undertake with your usual sense of patriotism, unparallel zeal, enthusiasm and tenacity. As you transform into a university, you should remember that you need to maintain the highest quality of education that befits a university college,’ he said.
Prof. Simukanga reminded the graduands that they were joining calls for a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and commitment adding their families and the nation expected a lot from them.
‘Society expects you to take your profession with immense responsibility and the fullest measure of passion and enthusiasm. The lives of our learners will be entrusted in your care to shape and prepare for the future,’ advised prof. Simukanga.
He also reminded the graduands to guard themselves against HIV/AIDS saying the nation was looking forward to them to contribute to the development of the nation and the education sector in particular.