The large majority of students in the broader higher education system are not provided with this facility.
It is, therefore, most unfortunate that a few privileged students at UNZA choose to resort to riotous behaviour while a large proportion of their brothers and sisters do not have access to the bursary system.
The Offices of the Dean of Students, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor are all open to the students for dialogue.
The students’ unions are also represented on the councils of public universities. Mr Speaker, the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) has not made a formal request to the Ministry of Higher Education to have the allowances for Government-sponsored students.
We shall not allow anarchy and that manner of engaging the Government. I have met with the University of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU). Minister of Higher Education, and given the deep-rooted problems of the universities, leading to serious instability in the institutions, have you, as the final policy director, thought about establishing a committee of experts on higher education to advise you on these deeply-rooted problems, which can never be solved by threats? Dr Kaingu: Otherwise, I should discipline the Senate and Council and, eventually, the students who are failing to adhere to the Patriotic Front (PF) policies. Mr Lombanya (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, like others have said, the problems at the universities are deep rooted.
If the students have any problems, they can engage the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, unions or the hon. So, I am wondering why the students resorted to going to the roadside to stone vehicles of people who pay the taxes from which their bursaries are paid. Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, student unrest has been part of our universities, dating back to the 1970s. Minister has clearly stated that it is high time this issue was resolved although I have also heard some threats from him. Minister whether there is a blue print in the Ministry of Higher Education through which he hopes to address this issue once and for all. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, universities are never governed by threats no matter where those threats come from. That is so you can be best informed on the policy direction of the institution which might provide long-lasting solutions to the instability of the institution. Dr Kaingu: My responsibility is to make sure that once the policies are not followed, I will gently issue a threat. I remember that the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry was constituted eighteen years ago, following serious disturbances at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU).
Classes began in earnest this week and our anticipation has been that the students would focus on settling down to their studies.
Otherwise, I have already listed down the names of students whose bursaries I was to going to cancel with immediate effect but, because of the spirit of forgiveness that is flowing … in our country and was initiated by our loving and caring Republican President, I will forgive them. Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the Government has to find a solution to this. However, I have already said that it is the manner in which they are trying to call for dialogue that is creating problems. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, in the governance of universities, threats have never been a solution anywhere in the world. What this means is that even him, who is an expert and was Vice-Chancellor of that institution and Minister of Education before, had a ‘bite’ of this problem and left it begging for solutions. As a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia (UNZA), he is aware that there are two instruments at our disposal to run the university. Minister looked at the White Paper on the recommendations of the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry to find lasting solutions to the problems at the university? However, this Government will not fail to solve a problem because of elections.
Sir, the reason given for this unacceptable behaviour is that they seek an upward adjustment to the allowances for Government-sponsored students.
Mr Speaker, we have always encouraged students in higher education institutions to use the established structures to dialogue and resolve issues.
Instead, they should present their concerns through the administrative structures of the university for the consideration of the hon. Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the support that the Government of Zambia provides in the form of bursaries to students in institutions of higher education is a privilege and not a right.
Further, the bursary system supports students at only two of the six public universities, namely UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU).Many Zambian students in the higher education sector have to struggle to pay tuition and other fees.