A SOCIETY without a vision, its people perish, says Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
In a speech read on his behalf by his son Panji during the launch of Kenneth Kaunda scholarship by Texila American University in Lusaka on Wednesday, Dr Kaunda said education had been his greatest passion and that it was his dream that one day, humanity would achieve universal education.
He said he was impressed with the standard that Texila American University was offering to shape the Zambian future.
Texila American University have launched a 2019 Kenneth Kaunda Scholarship worth more than K1,300,000 to be awarded to Zambian high school, A Level and undergraduate students ranging from full-time to part-time.
The scholarship will cover various programmes such as Doctor of Medicine, Bachelor in Pharmacy, Bachelor in Nursing, Health Professional Foundation programme, Bachelors in Business Administration, Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Public Health.
The applications for scholarships are made online either on the university’s website or Facebook and submission closes on August 30, 2019.
“Education has been, is, and will always be my greatest passion. My dream is that one day soon, humanity will achieve universal education. What this university has done is an important step towards this dream. I still remember my mother’s efforts some 87 years ago in getting a kind and generous shopkeeper to sponsor my education. What if no one had agreed to help that little boy? What would have happened to me?” Dr Kaunda asked.
“There are many boys and girls in our society today in similar need of a helping hand. I am reliably informed that the awarding of these scholarships will strictly be by merit in addition to the applicant’s vision for society. Vision is vital for any society to develop. Without it, people perish.”
He said with the increased population, there was a growing need for quality tertiary education.
Dr Kaunda said it was sad that tertiary education was quite costly and only few people were affording it.
“If a private institution like Taxila American University is providing quality education, it is looked at as an institution for the privileged few because of tuition fees that are usually very high. In some cases, parents in Zambia opt to take their children to schools outside the country in order to get value for the money,” he said.
“But I am impressed with the standard that Taxila is offering, right here, in our nation. It is for this reason that I commend the initiative of TAU in offering scholarships to Zambian students irrespective of their status in society. We hope that in future more deserving students will be exposed to quality education without feeling the sting of a whopping fee.”
Dr Kaunda said government alone could not meet the growing need for tertiary education but that with the private sector support, Zambia could record meaningful development.
He urged other institutions in the country to emulate Texila American University with scholarships to the less privilege people.
“It is for this reason that we applaud institution such as Taxila American University for complimenting government efforts in bringing quality education to all. Such moves give me hope that the future is bright. Not only that, but this gesture is also a source of encouragement to the young people. This shows that there are institutions that are not only concerned about their existence but are concerned about the overall development of the nation,” said Dr Kaunda.
And Texila American University deputy vice chancellor Professor Ajay Poddar said the university recognise the growing need for quality education and it had embarked on a successful journey to shape the country’s future through high excellence world level academics.
He said quality education was not easily accesses but it was his university’s responsibility to provide the high-quality graduates that would foster development in the country.
“At Texila, we recognise the growing need for quality education, and the need for it to be successful to all the recipients of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda scholarship shall prove the future of this nation, continent and the world. Quality education should not be far-fetched for them. It is for this reason that TAU board presided, Mr Saju Bahskar, embarked on this exciting journey to play our part in shaping the future of the nation through international faculty, world level academics and state of the art infrastructure along with in-house excellent labs,” said Poddar.
Higher Education minister Dr Brian Mushimba said quality education was a capital development that contributes to the development and inculcation of proper values for survival in society.
He noted that it was only quality and relevant higher education that could sharpen the minds of individuals and help transform society economically, socially and politically.
“Education imparts skills that enables individuals to be come self-reliant and become useful member of society as well as promote and encourage scholarship and community service,” said Dr Mushimba.