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UNZA VC lauds FQM investment in education

The books donated to the school of mines will improve its course materials and improve the quality of its graduates. THE University of Zambia (UNZA) has expressed gratitude to First Quantum Mines (FQM) for its continued investment in education.

This was after FQM donated 350 textbooks worth ZMK 165,000  to UNZA’s school of mines  and  pledged to refurbish one of the school's reading rooms.

Speaking during the hand over ceremony, UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Simukanga said the donation showed that FQM recognized the need to have well-trained and skilled graduates for improved productivity.

“The gesture by FQM will create a better resource pool for  UNZA to achieve its 2013-2017 strategic plan which is aiming to increase postgraduate portfolio in order to improve its academic standing as a research and development institution,” said Prof. Simukanga.

He said  the books donated to the school of mines would help improve the school's  course materials and thus contribute to  improving the quality of its graduates.

Prof. Simukanga  urged students to use the donated books and the refurbished mini library productively.

The Professor has since  encouraged other mining firms to emulate FQM.

And speaking earlier, FQM representative Bravo Mbao said the donation was aimed at improving the poor education standards and consequently  development of the country.

“It lies at the very core of our business philosophy to responsibly and profitably use the God-given resources in and on the ground for the benefit of not only FQM, our employees and the government of Zambia but for the community in which we do business,” he said.

Mr Mbao added that UNZA was part of the community in which they operated as it produced a number of graduates who were currently part of the team driving the operations of FQM in Zambia.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri said education and skills development was the cornerstone of any nation’s development.

He noted that the growth and profitability of any organisation depended on how skilled and innovative its workforce was.

“FQM has recognized this important fact and responded positively by supporting the school of mines through improving its stock of books and the storage space as government has been limited in financial resources due to many national needs,” Dr. Phiri stated.

He added that knowledge accumulation and application had become major factors in economic development and higher education.

Dr. Phiri thanked FQM for the gesture and encouraged them to ensure they strengthen the collaboration demonstrated through the donation.

He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the deputy minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Dr. Patrick Ngoma.

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