The Zambia National Students Unions (ZANASU) has submitted a report to President Edgar Lungu detailing the findings from an online survey on e-learning and the possible reopening of colleges and universities in Zambia.
According to the report, 56 percent of the 13,072 students who took part in the survey called for the Government to consider reopening of colleges and universities with a mandatory daily screening of students, lecturers, and all staff involved in conducting of classes.
Meanwhile, ZANASU Vice President Steven Kanyakula has thanked President Lungu and his administration for providing leadership during the ongoing fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic. He has since urged students to comply with the health measures intended to protect them.
The Report also show that 43 percent of students are dissatisfied with e-learning programs being offered by colleges and universities during the shutdown period as the majority cannot afford the cost of reliable internet.
“The popular opinion is that the use of e-platforms has only given an advantage to a few students while the majority are left behind. As can be seen, only 8 percent of students are satisfied with the e-learning classes which Universities and colleges have introduced,” states the Report.
The Report has recommended the limiting of numbers of students attending classes per session to 25 in order to promote social distancing of 1.5 metres between students and enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks, sanitizing and screening within University and college campuses.
“While we note that 51 percent of students have opposed the postponement of examinations during the pandemic period, our recommendation has been that examination must not be allowed to take place via electronic means as they would be subject to widespread cheating among students,” said Kanyakula
Mr. Kanyakula said ZANASU is of the firm view that the Ministry of Higher Education and Examinations Council of Zambia, in consultations with students through their various Unions, must re-work the academic calendar for classes and examinations which have been affected by the closure of colleges and universities.
A total of 13,072 students from 39 colleges and universities took part in the survey which was conducted online from 30th March to 2nd May, 2020.