9 October 2012

Zambia: Veep Unveils K8 Billion ZAOU Senate Block

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott yesterday unveiled an K8 billion senate block at the Zambian Open University (ZAOU) headquarters in Lusaka West with a call for the institution to supplement Government's efforts in offering quality education.

Dr Scott urged the university to offer quality services to its students saying people expected quality services for their money.

He was accompanied by Deputy Education Minister Nevlyn Wilomba, Deputy Tourism Minister Keith Mukata who is also Member of Parliament for Chilanga Constituency under which the university falls.

Dr Scott congratulated the University on their achievement and hitting a good mark saying everybody needed to be educated in Zambia.

He said higher learning institutions such as ZAOU should have physical addresses for them to look real and solid.

Dr Scott made the event lighter when he jokingly told MMD losing Kabwata Constituency parliamentary candidate Peter Machungwa who was in the audience that he was happy that the former MP had been offered a job by the university.

"Congratulations to former parliamentarian Dr Machungwa for finding a job. It gives us assurance that there is life after politics because we can find employment as well. Who knows maybe one day I will be in such an audience where Dr Machungwa is now while he will be here unveiling something," he said.

He urged the university to engage with his office on activities which it felt it could partner with as partnership with the private sector was one of the ways to bring about development.

ZAOU Vice-Chancellor Dickson Mwansa said the institution would continue to deliver higher education to people who would not have the opportunity to go to conventional institutions.

Professor Mwansa said ZAOU was impressed with the positive steps taken by the Government to allow the private sector to share with the State on the burden of educating citizens.

"In this regard, private universities like ours have taken up the challenge to train and produce highly qualified human resource thus contributing directly to the development of the nation in various ways," he said.

He said ZAOU had taken a deliberate decision on fees in order to increase access to higher education in that the fees were the lowest compared to other universities.

He said ZAOU was interested in partnering with Government in the establishment of youth skills training centres to train youth in various skills and entrepreneurship.

"ZAOU employs staff at many levels to enable the institution to move forward. In this way, ZAOU has created jobs and assisted the nation in this endeavour. Perhaps, in return, the State might help out by building infrastructure such as the road which leads to the institution," he said.

Prof Mwansa said the institution had close to 6,000 students with seven schools and four directorates.

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