Earlier, in an address to parliament, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda announced in a proposed 2015 National Budget that about K650 million had been allocated to commence the construction of additional students’ hostels at UNZA, Mulungushi University, Copperbelt University and Evelyn Hone College and to continue the construction of new universities. THE University of Zambia (UNZA) students are optimistic that the proposed budgetary funds allocated to the improvement of tertiary education infrastructure at UNZA, Evelyn Hone College, Copperbelt and Mulungushi Universities will be pushed forward despite the death of the Republican President Michael Chilufya Sata.
About K650 million of the proposed 2015 national budget was set aside for the construction of students’ accommodation at UNZA, Mulungushi University, Copperbelt University and Evelyn Hone College.
And speaking to the Lusaka Star in an interview, the University of Zambia Student Union (UNZASU) Vice President, Martin Nundwe said the union was confident that the funds allocated for the construction of hostels at the various institutions would be fulfilled.
He said students took the allocated funds for hostel construction as a Jubilee present from the late President Michael Sata to celebrate the country’s 50th independence anniversary.
Mr. Nundwe noted that the education sector had been side-lined in the past years especially when it came to the construction of students’ hostels.
“Education is very cardinal in the development of any country hence investing in education is the right step to enhance economic development especially in a developing country like Zambia,” he added.
Meanwhile, a development studies student at UNZA, Nelly Zulu said it was doubtful as to whether the funds allocated for hostel construction at the various institutions would be pushed forward in the event the country had a change of government.
She further noted that most governments have in the past presented budgets with funds allocated for the construction of students’ hostels adding that no effort had been put ihn place to facilitate the construction of the students’ hostels.
“The news about funds being allocated for students’ hostels has been a prolonged song which does not yield any actions. My appeal to the government is they should have a more serious and result oriented approach to dealing issues in the education sector. Otherwise, the construction of new hostels if put into action will be a very good move,” Miss Zulu added.
Earlier, in an address to parliament, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda announced in a proposed 2015 National Budget that about K9.4 billion would be spent in the education sector, of which 68 percent would go towards the recruitment of 5,000 teachers and to sustain the current establishment.
Mr. Chikwanda explained that the move to allocate over 20 percent of the budget to the education sector was aimed at reducing the pupil-teacher ratio.
He further disclosed that K1.1 billion would go towards infrastructure development for early childhood, primary and secondary education.
The Finance Minister stated that K650 million had been allocated to commence the construction of additional students’ hostels at UNZA, Mulungushi University, Copperbelt University and Evelyn Hone College and to continue the construction of new universities.
He said the funds allocated to the new universities would see the construction of Paul Mushindo, Chalimbana and Palabana Universities which were to be completed in 2015.
Mr. Chikwanda further disclosed that government would embark on the construction of King Lewanika and Luapula Universities in 2015 noting that Robert Makasa, Mukuba and Kwame Nkrumah Universities were almost completed.