THE Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) says it is working with the students unions in the country with the aim of ending violent protest each time students in tertiary institutions are aggrieved.
ZANEC board member Robert Shula who is in charge of skills and tertiary education said there is need to inculcate knowledge in students that stoning people’s vehicles every time they were aggrieved was not a solution to their academic challenges.
Mr Shula was speaking soon after a one day academic forum at Mulungushi University in Kabwe which was aimed at raising awareness on the operations of the NGO.
ZANEC which is a coalition of NGOs advocating for education, has been working with students unions through the Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) since 2015 with the aim of enhancing academic freedoms.
“We have been working with ZANASU to encourage the students that there is no need to run to the road side each time they are not happy with the Government or the management.
“This is why we have been going round colleges and universities in Zambia to try and teach them on the values and norms, where they should start and where they should end.
Mr Shula expressed happiness with the response from both the Government and the students union to the academic forums that his organisation had been conducting throughout the country.
He said it was because of the working relationship between ZANEC and ZANASU that had seen students union apologized for unruly behaviour that had resulted into the closure of the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU).
The students had realised that protests did not solve any problem and the only way forward was dialogue.
“They knew that you don’t find something good by stoning other people’s vehicles, and it is now on record that ZANASU felt sorry and apologized to the Government of Zambia and that it how the two universities were opened,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mulungushi University Union general secretary Patrick Hamwiita called on fellow students in all tertiary education institutions to desist from violence but embrace dialogue.
“All what we need is to speak with the office bearers, with the government as students in order to communicate our challenges in a right way,” he said.