Commerce Deputy Minister Miles Sampa has proposed the formation of a Student Trust Bank to address the challenges on student bursaries.
Mr Sampa said the Student Trust Bank will hold funds for and on behalf of current and future first year students. He said a Bank approach as opposed to an ordinary Trust fund is better given that a Trust Bank will be able to multiply or grow the seed capital faster as it will offer various commercial services like FOREX and funds transfers.
Mr Sampa said the Bank would be managed by a Board of Trustees that would include students and former students.
“All former University of Zambia (UNZA) or Copperbelt University (CBU) former students or graduates must deposit K100, 000 into this bank right away, in the near future or when able. I say this because nearly all former students benefited from the government bursary or sponsorship funds which have not been repaid despite having signed loan forms or undertaking to pay back after graduation,” Mr Sampa said.
“Why the amount K100, 000”? My calculation is that the net present value of government sponsorship of all former graduates is about that much. For example, if we take graduates of 1984; the annual fees then were around K25. The average student spends about 4 years in university before they graduate. Therefore a total of about K100 was spent by the government of the day on that student. If we translate K25 of 1984 to 2014, my estimation is a net present value of K25, 000.”
He added, “In other words, K25 in 1984 would buy one a small basic car (Spacio type) and to buy the same car in 2014, one needs K25, 000. A graduate would have had that amount as student sponsorship per year and thus equals to K100, 000 as total for the entire average 4 years spent at the University. Once this student debt is crystallized or called in now, it means all well-meaning graduates from UNZA and CBU owe the Zambian Government K100, 00.”
Mr Sampa who is also Matero PF MP said the new university entrants can benefit from this and not miss out on higher education.
“I understand that not all graduates can afford the repayment as some don’t have jobs yet or are not yet in well-paying jobs – fair enough. This category of graduates can pay in due course through a small percentage yearly. My keen interest is on those graduates that cannot afford to pay this instant as can be attested by any reasonable citizen.”
“Off the cuff, I can list 10 former UNZA students that can pay K100,000 each and raise a total of K1,000,000 into this proposed Student Trust Bank so it opened immediately to the urgently address the student needs out there.” My immediate 10 are:
1. Dr Tukiya Mabula Kankasa – Deputy Governor BOZ
2. Chisha Mwanakatwe- Director BOZ
3. Dr Francis Chipimo Director BOZ
4. Mr Joseph Chikolwa MD ZNBS
5. Mr Saviour Chibiya MD Barclays Bank
6. President Mike Mulongoti
7. President Edith Nawakwi
8. President Hakainde Hichilema.
9. Dr Patrick Matibini – The Speaker
10. Miles Sampa, MP (student advocate).
I am tempted to list another list of 10 so we have K2,000,000 raised for this Student Trust Bank.
1. Judge Mumba Malila -Supreme Court
2. Mr Musa Mwenye -Attorney General
3. Mr Mutembo Nchito-DPP.4.
4. Hon Felix Mutati-MP
5. Mr Frazer Chishimba- Lawyer
6. Mr Martin Simumba- Businessman
7. Hon Cornelias Mweetwa-MP
8. Hon Garry Nkombo- MP
9. Hon Chifumu Banda-MP
10. Dr J.Ngwati Phiri – Education Minister.
Mr Sampa said once all the above 20 former graduates suggested above pay up voluntarily, this bank can be operational instantly and rekindle hope for all those students whose dreams may have been shattered when denied bursaries.
“Advance apologies to any of those listed above if offended but if not, please give me a call so we can do what we can to help. Any other former UNZA or CBU graduates touched by the current student predicament are welcome to join the initiative as well. We can easily raise the list of former University students willing to 100 and raise K10, 000,000 so we can make this idea a reality today and not tomorrow,” Mr Sampa said.