11 February 2017

Zambia: 'Outsize Classes Producing Poor Results'

HIGHER education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says her Ministry will not allow over enrollment of students in institutions of higher learning but will endeavor to develop more infrastructure facilities.

Prof Luo said during a tour of the Copperbelt last week that it was time for the ministry to review the curriculum to ensure higher education institutions were meeting national objectives.

She said despite ever heightening demand for higher education from an expanding population, overly full classrooms and courses that were unnecessarily long were not helping standards or helping to meet demand.

Speaking during a tour at the Copperbelt University (CBU) campus, the Minister said over enrollment of students affected their attention span which, in turn, led to poor results.

"We need to reduce the enrollment numbers of students. My ministry is against this over-enrolment because students are unable to concentrate, "she said.

She said she was aware that some institutions offered programs especially in the health services for seven years which likely blocked other students from enrolling.

The Minister said the Ministry would ensure that all necessary equipment and facilities were provided to equip students with all necessary skills needed to meet the labour market demands.

She said in order to deliver to the expectations of students, there was need for a good personal communication system between lectures and students which she said would only be achieved through having a reasonable number of students in a class.

"Interaction is extremely important between students and lecturers, therefore, they (lecturers) should endeavour to promote a good relationship with students by ensuring that they understand every bit of the explanations they give, "she said.

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