The proliferation of universities, whose quality is not rigorously controlled, may only contribute to the production of frustrated, educated, unemployed and underemployed graduates holding certificates which meant nothing.
Debating the Ministry of Education budget last Friday, two MPs warned that the mushrooming of universities some in markets, private homes and churches assailed the principle of higher education which was supposed to have a mystique as frontiers of knowledge.
Bweengwa UPND Member of Parliament Highvie Hamududu said there was need to scrutinize the credentials and quality of education provided by the mushrooming universities some of which were operating from churches, shops and other unsuitable environments.
These institutions, he said, were patronized by education hungry Zambians, “But we should be aiming at providing skills in order to enhance the formation of quality human capital.” He said.
Mr. Hamududu revealed that Zambia had one of the highest fertility rates in the region, but that by careful use of the demographic dividend this seemingly negative situation could be turned to the country’s advantage.
Students, he said, could be made to stay longer in school to acquire skills in the same manner that the Asian Tigers had been able to harness their population towards economic flowering and development.
And Professor Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa MMD member of parliament for Nalikwanda, shocked the House when he said that on average the Zambian child in public school spent less than 22 days in totsal learning per year.
As a result, he said, Government was not spending enough to educate chuildredn and therefore ensure that the citizenry were raised out of ignorance and poverty.
He called on Government to ensure that all the money voted for education was properly spent because there was a tendency for such money to be diverted to other causes.