HIGHER education minister Brian Mushimba says the government will maintain the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University as the country’s premier learning institutions in the wake of the mushrooming of private universities.
Speaking on the sideline of a Harvard Ministerial Leadership Training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dr Mushimba said UNZA and CBU being the country’s oldest universities have maintained high standards of quality education while at the same time maintaining a high ranking in accreditation with qualified lecturers.
He, however, said the enrolment levels at the public universities may reduce as people now have a wide variety of universities to choose from.
Dr Mushimba also said the government was concerned that only 20 per cent out of the students who graduate from high schools are accepted in public universities.
He said the ratio was worrying because students who leave high school were unable to get places into universities.
Dr Mushimba bemoaned that only 20 per cent of those accepted were female thereby disadvantaging the girl child.
He said the government was putting in place mechanisms to increase enrolment numbers to 80 per cent in the next five years.
On vocational training schools, Dr Mushimba said it was unfortunate that some courses that were being offered by colleges were not relevant to the industrial requirement thereby making graduates stay home without employment after completing school.
He said it was important that colleges begun to offer courses that were relevant so that graduates were quickly absorbed into the labour market upon completion of school.
This is according to Inutu Mupango Mwanza, first secretary for press/tourism at Zambia’s Embassy in Addis Ababa.