About 3 0 0 f i r s t – y e a r students who have benefitted from education loans to pursue science and social science programmes at Mulungushi University have been warned against engaging in vices like riots because Government sponsorship will be withdrawn. They have also been urged to focus on their education because the country needs their knowledge and skills. The students are the first ones at Mulungushi University to benefit from Government loans since the country’s third public university was established.
Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board chief executive officer Ireen Chirwa said the board is sponsoring students who are doing science and social science programmes in response to the Seventh National Development Plan. “Our loans are not based on vulnerability because we are responding to the Seventh National Development Plan,” Mrs Chirwa said.
She said this when she addressed students that this year is the first time the learners at Mulungushi University are being sponsored by the board. Mrs Chirwa said the board is giving 50 percent sponsorship to students pursuing science and related programmes and 40 percent to learners doing social science studies.
She said other students who are also benefitting from Government loans are those at the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, Mukuba University, Kwame Nkrumah University and Chalimbana University. “You should know that there are thousands more people who want to be sponsored. Here at Mulungushi University, we had over 2,000 people who applied for sponsorship and we only awarded 300 first-year students,” Mrs Chirwa said. She urged the students to focus on their education so that when they complete their training and get employed, they can contribute to national development.
Mrs Chirwa warned the students against engaging in retrogressive activities like riots because their sponsorship will be withdrawn. She said the board expects students being sponsored to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner during the period they will be pursuing their programmes. And Mulungushi University d e a n o f s t u d e n t s P a n d e y Siayachamba urged the learners to work hard in view of the support they are getting from the board.
“Your role is to work hard. The relationship you have entered in is for you to pass and their [board’s] role is to pay for you,” Dr Siayachamba said. He said this year, Mulungushi U n i v e r s i t y h a s r e c e i v e d overwhelming response from first-year students, resulting in a shortage of acco