School Pupils
School Pupils

By George N. Mtonga

I certainly applaud the Zambian government for the introduction of student loans for Zambian students. This move will certainly expand access to education, because in the past those who didn’t qualify for bursary had no other sources of funding their education. But these loans are not going to be collateralized and our mechanisms for collecting the money back will certainly be a challenge. Currently, there is no definitive platform that shows that when students graduate we will have the technology to track them and collect against their wages their payments for the loans. This program may result in high default rates on the issues loans. This is something that we can work on as we continue to build this platform. Regardless of the challenges, it’s a great initiative and in the long run it should be smoothed to function efficiently.

However, we need to attach qualification of the loans to a National Service Program. This NSP would allow Zambian children before they go to University to volunteer in their respective communities. We can get them to work in Ministries, Hospitals, Parliament etc. And it would be incumbent on them to finish this program to qualify for jobs or any student loan program; of course we would not expect this for private sector jobs but NSP participation would be required for all government jobs (civil service or running for political office etc). This would undercut labor consumption within the civil service and save the government a lot of payroll money. With this program, we can generate anywhere between $50million to $150million in labor input from the participants of the program that is a savings of $250million to $750million over 5 years. NSP participation would be required for all Zambians, including those educated abroad. If you have lived abroad and you work as a doctor and relocate to Zambia, your NSP service can take a form of 1000 hour to 5000hour volunteer at the UTH or another government health facility.

WE HAVE a labor force that will benefit from taxes collected by people already working; but we can still tap into them when they are between 9 to 12 grades. They can clean the streets, paint schools etc. And we can get this labor for free, assuming that when they go to university they get the benefit of their labor through their student loan qualification and qualification for other government programs. These programs have been in effect in the United States as well as the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

WE ARE MAKING A RISKY bet providing these loans, and its only normal that we get something out of the children who will be going to college. WE HAVE TO INTRODUCE a National Service Program designed to improve the volunteerism of our children. And by attaching it to loan qualifications, we would give children an incentive to make sure they succeed and pass the program before they can secure any funding from government or apply for a job in government.

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41 COMMENTS

    • The idea is more of theoretical for Zambian set up. It is a good idea but for a one party state or predictive democracies like the US. Just last elections campaigns, one leader was saying “if I form government, all these loans they are giving you will be written off”. I believe this loan thing is just one way of Taming these riotous students. So I for one do not expecting any repayment because these are still bursaries. Loans are a long term program which can not work now because of different political ideologies.

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    • If you can live in a house without an address and can crookedly get two NRC’s and can have names which can not easily be distinguished between a surname and a forenames, then it’s a recipe for fraud.

      It has no platform to work. I
      Would think for this to work working parents should get loans for their children and or nephews but be the ones who are to pay back.

      Thanks

      BB2014

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  1. This is a brilliant suggestion!
    Please include REFUSE COLLECTION, GRAVE DIGGING, COFFIN MAKING, HOSPITAL LAUNDRY ETC.

    But EVEN private employers should ask for a letter of clearance from the ministry of Education before employment.

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    • Brilliant Idea there, making it illegal to employ people with no clearance from the ministry should result in massive fines for business. Either way government gets their money back. Hope this idea gains traction.

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  2. Dear (Lusaka Times) Are you telling us that for the last 2 days in Zambia you had only the News about students collecting gabage?
    Is this Zambian News Online?
    Please observe other countries web sites and get ideas from other African Countries News Online

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    • @5 VERY GOOD COMMENT. IN FACT THIS NEWS DEFICIENCY IS VERY COMMON IN ALL NEWSPAPERS IN ZAMBIA. ONE WOULD THINK ZAMBIA IS EVEN SMALLER THAN GHAMBIA. ZAMBIA IS A BIG COUNTRY BUT NEWS IS ALWAYS FROM LUSAKA AND THE COPPER BELT. AND THIS NEWS IS ABOUT HH AND KAMBWILI. CAN’T ZAMBIANS BE FED WITH ABUNDANT AND MEANINGFUL NEWS FROM ALL CORNERS OF ZAMBIA? THE MEDIA IN ZAMBIA HAS STRONGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE LACK DEVELOPMENT IN ZAMBIA AND THEY ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THEIR LACK OF CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ZAMBIA. TRERRIBLY USELESS MEDIA.

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  3. Suggestion well noted, just to add on, there is NAPSA tracking that captures all employees, thats a platform that can be used for tracking and recovering the student loans…also fyi, effective 1 Jan, all bank account holders would be required to have Tax Personal Identification Number(TPIN), which can be used to track students, and be able to freeze their bank accounts if they default….several other channels are on the table…

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  4. Good idea Ba Mtonga, but wait a minute, what has happened to the ‘BONDAGE SYSTEM’ that
    government was using to track down sponsored students?

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  5. This is awesome thinking. Even the town will be clean, children will have to finish schools and others jobs which needs human capacity in the country.

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  6. It sounds like you want to volunteer every one before the results were out. What of those who would volunteer then they fail the exams ? How are you going to compensate them because they won’t qualify for the loan?

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    • they still qualify for classified daily employment either in government or private.its not only for education loans but later on for employment.

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  7. I thank everyone on this platform for the comments,that’s what we need has a country and comments are mature no insults keep it up we need move has a country God bless you all.

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  8. Another Rat and Caterpillar going crazy – what no.nsense is this ar.sewhore talking about?
    Do you surely want people to work for free for this corrupt government? I earn £1,250 per day in the UK and you expect me to give Lungu 1,000 hours for free when I come home?
    Where are the International Human Rights in this impoverished Zambia of ours where people seem to have forgotten that slavery is banned?
    It is such foo.lish people like George N. Mtonga that make failed politicians like Lungu look like saints!! The idi.ot doesnt even know what he talking about! Such crazy ideas cannot pass through the US Congress and am totally lost where he got this stup.idity from – Nigeria may be!!

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    • I expected you to explain why it would not work, not shower expletives on the author. Learn to debate ideas and not persons.

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  9. Good idea, best move is to make (non military) national service after graduation both at secondary school and then at tertiary level (colleges, universities) compulsory as a way to have these students and pupils repay their loans.This national service (non military) should be tailored towards the fields the students studied for example a civil engineering student should be assigned for one year to the roads dept in a council or under min of works and supply, and a sociology student to social development institutions etc secondary school leavers can fit in less specialised work areas.

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  10. Very good idea, best move is to make (non military) national service after graduation both at secondary school and then at tertiary level (colleges, universities) compulsory as a way to have these students and pupils repay their loans.This national service (non military) should be tailored towards the fields the students studied for example a civil engineering student should be assigned for one year to the roads dept in a council or under min of works and supply, and a sociology student to social development institutions etc secondary school leavers can fit in less specialised work areas.

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  11. @Washington Square

    Baneni, do you “volunteer to pay back borrowed money”? Strange!

    Even those with Grade 1 results dont get jobs but a student loan is just like any bank LOAN. IT HAS to be paid back under any circumstance through any means. It must be a MUST..

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  12. Comment:This is not workable in the real sense. it’s a very good theoretical idea though..The Zambian government should start devising plans of job creation in the country. Why can’t Zambians learn from China and India how they are creating job opportunities for their own people within and outside their countries.
    Problem is that we have too many people who just want to throw suggestions on the floor which they know can’t work in Zambia.Best is to find means of how to help people raise money and pay back to government not talking about cleaning the toilets and all that nonsense.See how foreigners are prospering in our nation in the name of expatriate skills and yet we have enough skilled manpower to utilize our own resources. It’s a shame to be a Zambian.

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    • The smart idea is to grow the economy otherwise this idea is hogwas that does not create jobs but stifles job creation ideas and reduces employment jobs for the many unemployed. You are absolutely right.

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  13. Comment:am a student studying teaching and I want to rewrite in some of the subject that I didn’t do well, please help me with the money

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  14. This is how Zambians accept and legitimise mediocrity!! The PF Govt promised Zambians quality jobs – the idea of volunteering for NO pay cannot simply do. Our youths are loitering the streets with degrees and Diplomas looking for REAL work. Surely, Zambians especially “youths” who have never worked deserve better than this crazy idea from this RAT eater!!

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  15. That’s how education turns people into fools.
    You father mother and you Washburn government to pay for your end products of your semens?. That’s why in bemba they call them abana besukulu knowing that their parents are not responsible. Mufuna vamahala pela?. Shaa!

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  16. Absolute nonsense.Which wealthy and developed nation has programs like National Service?Do you see it in the USA,Canada,UK,Germany,Australia,China ,Japan,South Africa and Botswana.
    National service is only seen it nations experiencing conflict such as Israel ,Rwanda etc. KK introduced that system because Zambia was at war with Southern Rhodesia.We needed to have the civilian population ready to take arms and defend our country.
    Right now what we need are entry level jobs and trade skills training for the youth.This will stop them from lazying around and engaging in drinking and prostitution.

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  17. Biometric identification aught to be used for most of these things that are prone to fraud. We would not be crying fowl in elections if a system like this were employed because every vote or transaction would be properly accounted for.

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  18. ON ITS FACE THIS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA. HOWEVER WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE SUCH HIGH LEVELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO FIND ECONOMICALLY CONTRIBUTING JOBS FOR THESE YOUNG PEOPLE TO DO? SECONDLY THE COLLECTION MECHANISM WILL BE VERY HARD TO ENFORCE ESPECIALLY IN A CORRUPT SOCIETY LIKE ZAMBIA.
    SOLUTIONS:
    I WOULD SAY WE START RUNNING AGRICULTURAL COOPS AND HAVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE ALL PERFORM THIER NATIONAL OR COMMUNITY SERVICE IN THESE COOPS. THREE INDUSTRIES THAT COULD USE THE LABOR, AGRICULTURE, TOURISM AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. IT WON’T BE FREE THEY WILL BE PAID ATLEAST MINIMUM WAGE!!! ESPECIALLY IF WE HAVE THEM WORKING IN COMMERCIALLY VIABLE ALTERNATIVES.
    THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND FINANCE GOVERNMENT CAN ISSUE LIENS THAT ARE ATTACHED TO ANY ONE THAT EVERY GETS A…

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    • …THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND FINANCE GOVERNMENT CAN ISSUE LIENS THAT ARE ATTACHED TO ANY ONE THAT EVERY GETS A LOAN WITH SURETY PROVIDED AGAINST SOME ASSET LIKE A HOME OR PENSION BELONGING TO A PARENT OR RELATIVE. THAT PARENT THOUGH NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEBT WILL HAVE THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO HELP GOVERNMENT TRACK THESE PEOPLE DOWN ELSE ZRA CAN M’MEMBELIZE THEIR ASSETS.

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  19. Tracking the loan beneficiaries cannot be an issue, how do banks track people who want to borrow money from two different sources.These loans can also be insured against unemployment and death.The credit bureau can be tasked to be tracing the borrower’s by the use of the N.C.R.The GRZ can make a law that should make it mandatory for the employer to screen the potential Employee for such GRZ Student loans,it is found that someone has a loan,it should be factored into the payroll so that every month the should be sent to GRZ.say 10% of the Base salary,5% employer contribution towards the same.Howdoes GRZ collect PAYE,NAPSA,Personal levy?ETC

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  20. This is a great Idea, nations like America started these programs long time ago, people like Dr. Ben Carson the black American neurosurgeon who did not have financial capacity though he had a brain benefited from such programs. Great idea, when do we start?

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  21. I don’t support education loans as I don’t see education as a cost but an investment. Take for instance, my tax YTD is standing K211,000.00. I graduated from a govt busary and the total govt spent on me was not in excess of K25,000.00 on everything. if govt decided to deny me of their K25000, they would have lost on the harvest they are reaping for the rest of my life as I would have been probably in one of those informal sectors such street vending, tamanga boys and not contribute anything to govt and just be a nuisance.. I wont be surprised if students call for PAYE tax holiday when they graduate until they finish paying for the loans- in which case govt ll lose out more.

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  22. Good idea at a wrong time.My many concern is how is one going to be able to pay the loan back without a job.we need more jobs creation than jobs seekers.

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