Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Minster of Education advises Universities to be tolerant with Students accommodation issues



Government has advised management at higher learning institutions to be tolerant when dealing with accommodation challenges for students.

Education Minister John Phiri said it was regrettable that institutions of higher learning such as the Copperbelt University (CBU), University of Zambia (UNZA) and Mulungushi University were faced with accommodation problems.

Dr Phiri said in an interview that accommodation at higher learning institutions was not adequate and management at these institutions should find alternative accommodation before they could change the rules.

The minister said that the decision to ban squatting at CBU was made in the interest of students but that management should be tolerant in dealing with the issue.

“There is an accommodation crisis at institutions of higher learning and management of these institutions should exercise tolerance in addressing these concerns because the problems cannot be sorted out overnight,” he said.

Dr Phiri challenged University councils and management to work towards addressing the accommodation problems and indicated that Government was also trying to address the situation by seeing how best they can engage in Public Private Partnership programmes to construct hostels for students.

He further appealed to students to be patient and not to engage in riotous behavior.

CBU students’ union representatives on Wednesday stormed the Ministry of Education in Lusaka to register their displeasure over management decision to ban squatting.


  1. Bravo Minister. You are just being diplomatic by not issueing a direct command to CBU vice chancellor. If the VC is wise, he will look into this or alternatively provide accommodation so close to school. VIVI John Phiri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ande

  2. I appreciate the standards the CBU VC wants to bring to the institution but making such a huge jump of banning squatting was out of context. Am sure he knows that literally 90% of the bed spaces at the institution are shared due to lack of accommodation than any other reasons. The VC should realize they aren’t many boarding houses around or near CBU, banning squatting will be costly to student in-terms of transport to & from the boarding houses. The best news we would have loved to hear from the VC is him asking for funding to build more hostels

  3. Dr john Phiri you are doctor yourself, am sure you understand that investment in eduction is not only important but key for national development…
    So go and let that kaponya president to construct rooms students at universities not creating `bedsheets` spaces.. NO!!!1

  4. The idea of having the university management concern itself with student housing is outdated. Why don’t we do it like in other countries where university management don’t directly deal with housing issues but focus primarily on teaching and research? Surely, govt should leave the housing the issue to other institutions or indeed, the private sector to look into the welfare of students? What the govt needs to do is to regulate (through an Act of law) the prices in the interest of the majority poor students.

    • Sounds interesting. But the hostiles are in the hands of management how can the responsibility or power be transferred to a private company ??
      I should think the institution (CBU) should book the boarding houses and give students in the same way they do with hostel and on top of that provide transport to & from the boarding houses. Its quite an expensive fix tho

  5. The VC is MMD/UPND hence wants to bring chaos at the institution. This is a political move and we expect the Government to COMMAND the VC revoking his decision. Please PF Senior Officials, open your eyes.

    • How is this politically motivated ?? For your own info if the VC is known to be a cadre they are given the boot instantly.

  6. public private partnerships bla bla bla yap yap yap. how long has this talk about PPP for student acomodation been going for? i would rather see action on the matter than hear more yaping. yap yap yap and no action. act dont just yap about PPP. BY the way the current levels of low comitment and transparency do not favour PPP. You may stil need to change atitudes.

  7. This looks like a now problem. it needs a now solution. PPP is better option but likely to take many years to fullfil.
    We can take a look at how many of the South African Universities have sorted out this problem type. Riverside and Park lands are big neighborhoods to sort out this accommodation need from CBU. Many mansions have 1 or 2 occupants leaving a gap for 10 to 15 students if only they can behave like students.
    My home a few meters away from CBU can take up to 15 students comfortably.
    any accommodation need please contact me on this forum

    • The problem is the Zambian mentality; students will not feel that they are university students if they live off campus. There is some stup1d prestige which goes with living on campus whereas this is not the case with students in countries such as South Africa, the US, etc.

    • You are such a lier and dreamer! Zambian families have no spare bedrooms because of extended families. I have never heard of nor seen a mansion in Jambo Drive with a spare bedroom let alone an unoccupied servant’s apartment.

  8. it is not acceptable to have squatters anywhere bwana Phiri. What sort of professionals are you hoping to train in this manner?!

  9. It’s saddening that the burden of accommodation has to be borne by students.Institutions must have the obligation to provide a conducive learning environment for their students and this includes adequate accommodation.The banning of squatting implies that students have access to alternative accommodation and choose to squat for some unknown reason.Not everyone can afford to live in boarding houses.The majority of students at CBU and UNZA come from very poor families.Families that have already made sacrifices to send their children to school.The teaching style also does not permit students to seek part-time work (if at all it is available) to pay off arising expenses.Students have classes from 8 to 5 and have to study after that.Don’t look for solutions in textbooks.

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