Government to build more hostels at the University of Zambia
GOVERNMENT will ensure that more hostels are constructed at the University of Zambia and the deteriorated roofing system is renovated with utmost urgency.
Education Minister Dora Siliya said this in Lusaka yesterday during the tour of the University of Zambia Great East Road campus.
She said the new hostels and the stalled ones in the eastern side of the institution would only accommodate about 1,000 students in total and yet the shortfall was over 6,000.
Ms Siliya said Government had spent K13 billion on the construction of the new hostels that would be commissioned before the end of the year.
She was shocked that about 50 students were accommodated in one room in Africa big student flats.
The students left their property especially clothes and bags littered everywhere and movement from one point to another required to step on beds.
“For the female students this is not normal. Let me just say this situation is bad for all students because firstly it is very hot and unhealthy,” Ms Siliya said.
There was urgent need to restore sanity at the institution but this would be done at a manageable pace.
Ms Siliya said Government was facing shared challenges to address problems faced by institutions of higher education.
The minister was worried that the roofing system was leaking water to the rooms down stairs due to defective taps and water pipes.
She said she would seek specific steps from other Cabinet ministers especially Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane to ensure the students hostels were renovated.
The deep roof-leaks were noted in the library, the student hostel and the administration block.
She said Government would ensure that the huge debt UNZA owes retired staff was dismantled to allow for the expansion projects at the institution.
UNZA acting vice-chancellor Wilson Mwenya said the student-lecturer ratio had increased to one lecture per 27 students, which required expansion to the limited infrastructure.
[Times of Zambia]