Public colleges across the country have praised government through the Ministry of General Education for issuing a directive to them to embark on developmental projects in their various institutions in order to sustain themselves economically.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, in Chipata, Dean of Principals of College of Education, Andrew Mutobo, who is also Kitwe College of Education Principal, said almost all colleges of education country-wide are now making progress due to production units they have embarked on.
Dr Mutobo said colleges of education have since stopped depending on government funding as they are able to generate their own income through various agricultural activities the institutions were involved in.
He said all colleges are indebted to the General Education Permanent Secretary for directing the institutions to promote farming and other developmental activities in a bid to be self-reliant.
Dr Mutobo further explained that through farming activities the colleges are able to offset costs and making infrastructure within the colleges in a quest to promote efficiency.
“We have progressed in a number of areas such as keeping chickens, quails, maize farming and gardening among other, a thing which has reduced dependence on government subsidy,” he said.
He said most Colleges have ventured into maize farming, cattle rearing, piggery and gardening to mention just a few.
He said the projects have injected a new lease in the operations of public colleges as they can meet any financial obligation without begging from the ministry as it was the case in the past.
The Dean of College principal explained that public colleges could not manage to handle any infrastructural development of any kind in the past as they depended on funds from the ministry.
He said currently colleges can run effectively even without depending entirely on student tuition fees as they can offset any financial challenge with revenue from farming related activities the institutions have embarked on.
Dr Mutobo cited Malcolm Moffatt College of Education in Serenje district of Central Province as a leading example in developmental projects as it produces thousands of bags of maize whose surplus is sold to the public in the area.
He noted that the college also rears cattle, runs poultry, fish farming and many more agro related activities which generate income for the proper operations of the institution.
And Chipata College of Education Vice Principal, Albert Chiyuka, also said his college has constructed an administration office block, a garage, a graduation podium, an open air- theatre and is rehabilitating a college hall among others using locally generated finances.
Mr Chiyuka said the college no longer depends on funding from the ministry because it is able to generate income from many projects taking place at the college.
Meanwhile, General Education Assistant Director for Human Resource, Musonda Kapulo, who has toured most public colleges across the country, has expressed satisfaction at the number of money making ventures the institutions have embarked on as they add value to the running of the colleges.