By Mainda Simataa
The mediocrity in Zambia’s higher learning institutions has now graduated from the alarming stage and now entered the fatal stage.
I was only in grade 10 when Zambia’s most celebrated Journalist, Edem K G Djokotoe wrote for The Post, in his collumn Mind Over Matter, where he prophesied that there would come a time in Zambia when one stands on top of Findeco building, Lusaka and Zambia’s tallest building, and throws a stone into Cairo Road, Zambia’s main Street, chances are it will land on the head of not just a graduate, but a PhD holder. That time is here with us now…
Edem was decrying the ever reversing and receding standards of education and the frantic pace at which Education authority is granting University licenses and these universities, or Diploma/degree printers who neither have the requisite infrastructure nor academic faculty experience are churning out half-baked graduates like buns from a bakery at an alarming rate, and cashing in big monies at the expense of desperate students, and many are often failed grade 12’s…Not entirely their fault of course.
ROCKVIEW UNIVERSITY of Lusaka is one typical example of everything a University should not be…a paragon of mediocrity and selfish enterprise to serve some deranged owners penchant for quick money.
Yesterday I had an economics freshman, from this mobile, or should I say briefcase university drop by to consult on some assignment. So I asked him how ROCKVIEW university is, “they don’t teach us anything” he shrugged. I told him that is okay and common in Zambian Universities, “you’re on your own” I concluded.
But it’s much worse he said. Apparently ROCKVIEW has become so notorious in flouting minimum standards that it shifts it’s locations every term, from renting abandoned construction sites, to leasing cubicles in town at ZIMCO house, to now renting a house in Kabulonga, ROCKVIEW has been all over the place. The catch is that they are the cheapest – in price and admission criterion…all one needs to enter is an NRC and 2,500 Kwacha a semester.
But the service one gets is pathetic to say the least, from crowded boarding houses scattered all over the shore, to overcrowded classes where enrollment is daily with with new unsuspecting students trooping in, the place is a disaster.
But what has finally broken the backs of students, especially the females is the University’s sudden relocation to Kabulonga while the boarding houses remain in far flung places like matero, chazanga, kamwala, kabwata. These girls were one night stranded in town up to 22:00 hours, at the mercy of thugs and rapists, all for the love of education, and as far as their Chancellor one Dr. Chishala is concerned, it all for the love of money, whatever happens to students matters less.
This so called UNIVERSITY is a risk in many ways.
By Mainda Simataa