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The Failure to Extend Bursaries to Students in Private Institutions by Parliament

By Chanoda Frackson Ngwira

It is undoubtedly evident that the reference to FREE EDUCATION by our colleagues in UPND has become part of their DNA in regards to when they want to talk about fulfilling their promises.

Let me hasten to say that we appreciate the free education and yes ours is to end at that for we are obviously expectant to seeing the end result of the same. Is it qualitative or quantitative education being provided, and again, at what level regards skills is this free education of upto Grade 12 achieved in the whole sense?

Fellow countrymen and women, if this FREE EDUCATION doesn’t meet the required prerequisites of achieving meaningful skills as it should be, then let’s pause a bit and reflect. I mean what is the essence of a free thing that only ends at a level that is affordable even at a fee and leaving the most important level which is basically expensive yet getting a skill? The most important level regards skills and future is actually the tertiary level, yes, tertiary education in my view is one that brings hope and economic meaning with or without employment.

This brings me to my main focus and question; why shoot down a bill that wants to safeguard and guarantee the future of our children and the country as a whole while giving away free money to the mines? I mean why must our children be paying huge sums of money in these Universities, private or public instead of helping them with loans and bursaries yet we give free money to the mines? Where is the sense?

Let’s be sincere here, what skills do our pupils get as a result of free Education from Grade one to Grade 12? Why end free education in Grade 12? Our children learn about shaka Zulu, Adolf Hitler and grasshoppers, what skills do they gain after finishing their FREE EDUCATION?

It, therefore, surprises me to note that our Parliamentarians especially UPND members, would choose to shoot down a bill that wants to introduce affordable and free education at tertiary which will result in the gaining of skills by our children. They have shot down a progressive movement that makes more sense than the FREE EDUCATION which they talk about every day.

Where is their consciousness? Is UPND still going to boast about being a caring Government regarding FREE EDUCATION when on the other hand, they are busy shooting down such progressive Bills?