(By Charles Tembo in Ndola)
FORMER Copperbelt University students’ council chairman Gershom Phiri has questioned the delay by the Loans Board to publish the list of successful applicants. In a posting, Phiri stated that the CBU management should prepare students and parents for the academic year.
He noted that CBU would reopen on October 29 but the Loans Board had not published the names of successful students.
“I’m very disheartened to note that Copperbelt University is scheduled to open on 29th October but up to now Bursaries Committee has not published the bursaries list of successful applications and the percentage of those successful. Now suppose the university opens on 29th and the list is published tomorrow and if you are given a 75 per cent bursary, it means your parents have to pay 25 per cent, which roughly is K6,789 and the university may require [that] at least you pay 50 per cent of it to register,” he stated. “How can an orphan or an average family raise half of this money? Again CBU cannot manage to accommodate more than 3,000 students.”
However, Phiri commended management for turning part of the workers’ compound into students’ hostels.
He stated that accommodation for students had become expensive.
“And in fact, I salute management for turning part of the workers compound into students hostels but the point is besides the money required to register, a student who is not accommodated has an option of looking for a boarding house ranging from K750 to K800 per month and mostly due to high demand most boarding owners want three months meaning you need at least K2,750,” Phiri stated.
He stated that most of the students came from poor families.
“Most of these students are from poor families where their parents can’t afford to even buy a bag of mealie-meal or pay K700 for their high school brothers. The other effect is the university extending the opening day, which is also an order of the day for, especially CBU and UNZA,” stated Phiri. “These extensions and unnecessary closures have so much affected the university because those doing distance learning, most of them fail to come due to these changes as their employers fail to adjust their study leave and others opt to go to private universities.”