MINISTER of Higher Education Nkandu Luo has bemoaned the lack of private sector support to advancement of tertiary learning in the country.
Professor Luo said this in Lusaka on Tuesday during the launch of Barclays Bank Zambia’s K3.2 million scholarship programme which will enable over 50 underprivileged youths access higher education.
Prof Luo said private sector support to education is low in Zambia.
“I just received this beautiful letter from the managing director of Barclays Bank Zambia asking me to come and launch this bursary scheme to support education. What could a minister do other than jump on this undertaking? This is the way it should be,” she said.
Prof Luo said with support from cooperating partners, Government would like to come up with a loan and bursary fund to educate Zambian children. She urged cooperating partners to consider supporting tertiary education just like they have done to general education.
“There is no better gift a parent or a government can give to a child than education. I did not understand this when I was growing up because my parents always told us that they would rather die poor and without property as long as they educate us. My parents did everything possible to educate the eight of us,” Prof Luo said.
And speaking at the same function, Minister of Community Development and Social Services Emerine Kabanshi said her ministry cherishes the increased access to education, especially among the poor and vulnerable.
Ms Kabanshi said although 45 percent of women and 57 percent of men have attended secondary or higher education, initiatives aimed at increasing literacy levels in society still remain crucial.
Barclays Bank Zambia managing director Mizinga Melu said her institution’s scholarship programme will take into consideration both financial needs and academic merits.
Ms Melu said the bank will work with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to identify vulnerable young people who will benefit from the scholarship programme.