LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
THE National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has saluted the Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) for apologising to President Edgar Lungu and Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo over the violent conduct of some students a few weeks ago.
NAQEZ said the initiative by COBUSU deserved commendation from all Zambians and as an institution, it hoped the apology would be a turning point in the way students in Zambia would be responding to problems in future.
In a statement issued to the Sun NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa urged all students in colleges and universities to take a leaf from COBUSU and open a new chapter of peace when claiming their various entitlements and rights.
Mr Chansa said peaceful resolution of disputes between students and university management teams would promote stability and peace in the sector.
“We are tired of disruptive closures of our universities. We want to see students play a bigger role in promoting academic constance in universities. We are of a strong view that damaging public and private property by students, for whatever reason, should not be allowed in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Chansa said NAQEZ recognised the fact that protesting was within the democratic bounds of the students and that violent protests had no place in a civilised society.
Students could engage in very peaceful demonstrations and still achieve their goals.
Mr Chansa said his organisation was urging the minister of Higher Education to consider re-opening the Copperbelt University because its continued closure had terrible effects on the students, their families, the university itself and the nation as a whole.
Mr Chansa urged the three parties to dialogue and iron out their differences for the sake of quality higher education in the country.
He said the industrial disharmony obtaining at UNZA and CBU needed urgent attention.
Mr Chansa said if the warring parties would not reconcile, it would be difficult for the country to find lasting solutions to the monumental challenges currently afflicting universities.