WHAT happens when University of Zambia (UNZA) students graduate? Is UNZA just to be used as a stepping-stone and forgotten about? Where are the Alumni? The conditions at UNZA are now worse than what most of the Alumni found and yet they still remain silent.
UNZA cannot improve without a collective effort. Many students have graduated from the institution since 1969 but how many, really, have taken the time to contribute anything to the improvement of UNZA?
Development should not just be individualistic. If we seek to develop the country it goes without saying that we should improve higher institutions of learning for the future generations.
It makes no sense to have the same complaints year in and year out when there are so many people who can help remedy the situation.
UNZA needs to be revamped in so many ways. It's not just about the infrastructure; the academic system too leaves a lot to be desired.
We need to dispel the mentality of 'since I'm no longer there, it's not my problem'. The same problems will haunt students who will come to the institution after you leave, be it your children or even your children's children.
With the current state of affairs it is highly unlikely that UNZA will ever be at par with other universities in Southern Africa.
A number of high profile people have passed through UNZA but what are they doing in their positions? Many have the authority and power to change the face of UNZA but we wonder why they have chosen to remain dormant.
There is need to revive the Alumni Association. If anything, it shouldn't have died in the first place.
In order to take advantage of all possible means of revamping the institution, UNZA needs all its former students to come together and contribute to its welfare.
In this way, former students can have a say in the running of the institution. Their suggestions are vital to the development of UNZA.
The Alumni input will also help build a spirit of unity and reinforce the saying 'one Zambia one nation.' It will show that the Alumni are willing to stand as one with the University and have not simply left its problems for government to solve.
There should be a close link between the University and the Alumni to keep them informed of developments at the University and in return UNZA must keep track of the Alumnis' activities. Such a link will make possible the participation of former students in projects to develop and rehabilitate the University.
These could include adoption of the rooms individuals occupied during their student days, general infrastructure development, donation of desks and chairs for lecture rooms and offices, mobilisation of support for library development as well as sports and recreational facilities .
For instance the late President of Zambia, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, adopted the room he occupied during his student days by maintaining it in terms of painting, fixing doors and sockets.
The UNZA Alumni should encourage one another to develop a healthy working relationship with the institution so that UNZA can successfully move forward.
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