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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Higher Education Authority differs with HPCZ over CBU Medical School

Health The Higher Education Authority differs with HPCZ over CBU Medical School

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has directed the Copperbelt University (CBU) to continue running the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes until further notice.

This is comes barely three days after the Health Professions Council of Zambia banned CBU from administering the three medical programmes at the institution following failure to meet the laid down standards.

In a statement, The Higher Education Authority (HEA) Director General Professor Stephen Simukanga said as mandated by the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 and Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2016, HEA is the custodian of all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Zambia, be it public or private, and has the authority to accredit Learning Programmes at these HEIs.

“For this reason, in May 2018, the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes at CBU were audited by experts acting on behalf of HEA for purposes of accreditation. Preliminary findings of the audit indicated that the Learning Programmes had areas that needed improvement,” Prof. Simukanga said.

He said following the findings, HEA began a process of guiding CBU in thoroughly addressing the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies and had asked the HEI to develop an implementation plan over a period of not more than one year.

Prof. Simukanga said this was expertly deemed as a sufficient period of time in which to rectify all of the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies.

“Moreover, as it was expertly determined that the shortcomings of the Learning Programmes did not warrant the closure of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes as “continuous improvement” of these Learning Programmes is instituted, CBU shall continue providing these Learning Programmes while they address the shortcomings that have been identified,” he charged.

On Friday, the Health Professional Council of Zambia (HPCZ) ordered CBU to immediately stop offering two programmes in the School of Medicine for failing to meet set standards.

Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Aaron Mujajati instructed the institution to discontinue offering Bachelors in Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, including Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

This was after inspections at the University revealed over-enrolment of students, inadequate lecturers, engaging unregistered lecturers practising without licences among other violations.

Dr. Mujajati added that the institution exceeded the accepted lecture – student ratio after over-enrolling by 494 candidates for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Programme.

He also charged that his organisations cannot be assured of the safety of the public once exposed to the services of graduates in the above programmes.

Dr. Mujajati advised Copperbelt University that the two programmes will only be reinstated after all recommendations have been addressed.


    • If the shoe does not fit, do not wear it.

      The problem with PF is that they still do not know their shoe size.

      The country is now infested with fake professors, fake technical experts, and fake leadership.

      People are in the wrong jobs all over the place….starting with the president himself.

    • Even though Mujajati is an opposition, I disagree with him. It sounds like Council of Churches has right to stop High Schools from offering R.E (Religious Education), because they have over enrolled and subject taught by teachers who are not pastors.

    • Of late Mujajati has been too overzealous like a political cadre. The only body that can close down higher learning institutions that fails certain standards is Higher Education Authority (HEA). His HPCZ can only withdraw recognition of the programmes offered by those institutions. Can LAZ close down law school at UNZA?

  1. This is the RIGHT decision. Well done Prof. Simukanga!
    Really , this Mujajati fellow, I saw him on TV this morning saying that GYM instructors should also be accredited to his organisation! The other week he was closing down clinics, hospitals etc. So he is in charge of clinics, hospitals, universities and now gyms as well. Well, well….. is he a medical doctor or has Ph.D?
    His zeal is reckless and misplaced – SHUTTING down a UNIVERSITY? Yaba!

  2. I was thinking that the HPCZ is just overzealous and has overstepped its boundaries. I thought that what they have done to CBU is the function of HEA. But when I did some basic research I discovered that HPCZ ALSO has a mandate to regulate training in health sciences whereas HEA has the same mandate but for ALL higher training institutions.

    Looks like the classic case of the contradictions in our “new” constitution. Zambia my Africa, what have done to deserve this?

    But now I have a question for HEA, why did they keep quiet when the same HPCZ “overstepped its boundaries” when they shut down some programmes at Apex medical “university” and others?

    • From where I stand,both HEA and HPCZ agree that there was something amiss at the school and that the managers were given time to rectify (I should assume that the time limit was a matter of urgency), because training medical doctors is not like training plumbers.There should be no large time lag between fault detection and repair because some students progress with defects.The real culprits have been saved by HEA.
      Is it really that difficult to see that while our institutions are being demeaned we keep interpreting every through politics.
      Everything is either ruling or oppostion party cadre.Do we still have professionals in this country any more?

  3. Mujajati is doing a commendable job but closing the institution was probably not ideal under the circumstances. CBU should work on their failings NOW!

  4. Pa ZED we believe in quantity not quality. how can we over enroll at a medical school and am sure all students graduate. ZIALE is the best

  5. A simple solution to this debacle is for HPCZ not to register all graduates from this medical school. Tell the students that they must decide to continue or quit for another school.

  6. There is room for mutual consultation on technicalities to guarantee tranquility. The two national institutions need to operate in harmony for the good of the country. Developing countries generally suffer from historical handicaps, including inadequate quantity and quality of resources. To make progress, there is need to promote a culture of fixing problems as works progress. Closures and suspensions would lead to grater challenges.

  7. Spirit of Confusion at work, typical of a people who are not decided which spirit to use between the Holy, Human and Evil Spirit. Typical of people who do not DO any course to run certain organisations other than the original professional courses they did. You can be a medical doctor or lawyer but to run certain organisations you need to do specific courses. These institutions were created by govt and their existence hinges on strategic projections. So you can’t just come up and ban them without proper consultations.

  8. This will certainly set a platform for future understanding of these two institutions. Under normal circumstance the Department of higher education is the overiding body for all educational activities and as such uses sub bodies such as the Health Professional Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to improve and maintain quality. What the HPCZ cannot do is to close the institution??, but they can withdraw their registration or accredition to its body. What is required here is for the Department of higher education to work closely with the HPCZ and harmonise their operations for the good of our qualification. Perhaps there is need for each body to have a clear mandate or terms of reference??

  9. I am told when you have a confused father its most likely that you cannot survive the madness. So goes with the country!!!! Talk of being blind followers of the blind. Clearly stated there is no proper leadership under PF governance.
    Jonathan is a great let down we have ever experienced in Zambia. Could it be a curse from God Almighty to deserve all this punishment.

  10. Well done Prof for guiding our misguided cadres in suits! We need professionals with wisdom and not just head knowledge to head important institutions like HPCZ! Next we need to do away with the nonsensical indexing for students! It’s nothing but a crooked way to raise money! Professional exams should be abolished as this is the mandate of HEA! HPCZ is simply duplicating exams here that have always been the preserve of Professors at UTH who have been assessing both theory and practical ability for many Foreign trained doctors before registration by HPCZ! To save the medical profession from further embarrassment brought about by one overzealous self-centered megalomaniac, ZMA and affiliated bodies should demand the immediate removal of Mujajati as Registrar! He is abusing his position for…

  11. He is abusing his position for selfish reasons and those of his cronies under the guise of improving standards he seems not to understand. Does he think he is the best doctor in the country? He is the wrong chap for this noble job! We further need to do away with this self-ascribed title of CEO and maintain that of Registrar as we have always had. CEO is making cadres in suits big headed to the extent of wanting to assume powers they don’t have! Viva HEA and abash HPCZ thieves! Zambian Professionals must learn to speak out as opposed to complaining silently! Sata was right when he said educated Zambians are the most useless cowards! Abash Head Knowledge and the Rule of men! Viva to Wisdom and the rule of Law!

  12. The HPCZ definitely overstepped its mandate. Professional bodies’ regulation only matters when it comes to professional accreditation and not basic training at universities. Universities are by nature independent bodies that produce new knowledge through research. It is not up to HPCZ to dictate to CBU how it should design its courses or run it courses. HPCZ can make recommendations but do not have the authority to suspend courses. If HPCZ wants to vet the quality of graduates from universities, they should have post-exams through which graduates will be accredited as health professionals as is the case with LAZ which does not bulldoze the law courses offered by universities but simply tests the quality of law graduates through its bar exams.

  13. This is the problem when cadres and bootlickers are put in charge of the whole system, everyone plays politics. Even outspoken Bowman is very quiet about the Foxdale demolitions, Mwakalombe is equally silent about demolitions at Kasumbalesa. Nkandu Luo is very silent about CBU, even the erstwhile Professor Naison Ngoma. Signs that the boat is sinking

  14. We must not compromise things that deals with lives of people. CBU put your house in order and you HPCZ continue your work but observe your boundaries. If it was okay with private institutions to close until the requirements were met , let it be so even to the public institutions because the graduates from the said institutions will be working for this country.

  15. So now who is higher? Is it the HEA or the HPCZ? If the HEA is above the HPCZ then I request those universities closed earlier like Eden or Lusaka Apex to take their case to HEA so that they can continue with their courses.

  16. HPCZ is not and will never be a training institution like ZIALE for advanced legal studies!
    That is what Mujajati doesn’t understand!! Exams set by HPCZ are therefore misplaced as they are not set by Professors as required but by underqualified cadres in suits whose interest is only Money! Can HPCZ explain the relevance of indexing students who may fail medical training along the way? Is that not obtaining money by false pretenses? And why does Mujajati want to disadvantage our Children studying medicine abroad because of indexing? Can HPCZ also justify why a Foreign Specialist is now made to pay K15,000 every year and a local one K2,500? Is this Xenophobia or plain madness for a country with inadequate specialists?

  17. Prof. Simukanga is 100% correct. We can not afford to suffocate ourselves. We need to advance not being retrogressive. We need to think about production. When we are producing goods and services that is how with the passing of time that is how we improve the quality of our goods and services.

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