Former Education Minister Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa has charged that the PF government is running down the education system in the country.
And Professor Lungwangwa says it is unacceptable for the PF government to demand that 60 percent of the money generated by Universities and Colleges through their parallel programs be submitted to the treasury.
Professor Lungwangwa who is also Nalikwanda Member of Parliament said the PF has been running the education sector in the country without a clear policy on the sector hence lacks clear directions of what it wants to achieve.
He explained that during the MMD government, the administration had a clear policy of ensuring that education infrastructure was taken to all parts of the country and materials accessible in all schools across the country in a bid to make education easily accessible which has not been the case with PF since it took over office as there are reports of schools not having school materials.
” Since PF came into power in 2011 there has not been any profound policy statement on education from its leadership. Clearly this indicates that there is no direction for the education sector; there are no plans for the education sector. There is no policy at all and if there is no policy then there is no direction.
Under MMD we had a very clear policy on education; the profound statement on education under MMD was that education must be accessible, equitable and of the highest quality possible at all levels of education that was the direction we took.
When you talk of schools that are being constructed these are schools that MMD left at various stages of construction, there were 83 secondary schools under construction when PF took over office which they are just commissioning because even the funding was already there. We were also constructing several hundreds of basic schools across the country. We had a very clear policy on education materials, teacher training and various other programs.”
He added, “what is happening now is that there no educational materials and other challenges in the sector; these are some of the issues we are trying to take the PF to task as MPs.”
Meanwhile Professor Lungwangwa says the money which Colleges and Universities make from parallel programs is meant to motivate staff and support institutions with other needs which they can not run to the government for funding.
He noted that the funds generated by the institutions helps them to retain staff and buy materials hence it is unacceptable for government to take away their little resource.
“PF must be more honest and admit that they don’t have money to improve the education system at all levels that’s the more reason why they are even targeting resources from colleges and universities through their parallel and distance programs that those resources should go to the treasury, that 60 percent of those resources should go to the resources that is very unacceptable.
The universities and colleges of our country have been generating some little resources from their parallel programs which resources have been able to assist the institutions procure materials, retain staff, improve on the infrastructure and so on and that is now the resources the PF are now targeting to get from the universities,” Professor Lungwangwa explained.