In a world where economies are built around knowledge, the importance of an educated population cannot be over emphasised. This is the reason UPND is promising free education from primary to tertiary education. This can be and will be done because as we always say, Zambia has money, what it does not have is leadership that can prioritise properly. We have seen traffic lights being mounted in Lusaka, only to be switched off after motorists complain that there is more congestion than when the traffic lights were not there. This is the wastage we are talking about. We are approaching education from two perspectives i.e. academic-based and skills development.
Academic Based Education
UPND will invest in students that are pursuing qualifications that require academic excellence. This type of education includes engineers, medical doctors, accountants, and many other such professions. All students that want to pursue this type of profession will be given full bursary by the Government. This bursary will cover universities, college, and trades training institutes. Free education will be complimented by restocking libraries with modern and current books. Students will also be provided with access to modern facilities online where they will have access to the latest knowledge in real-time. Other than tuition, students will be provided with book allowances to purchase textbooks. Students will receive meal allowances which will form part of the sponsorship from the Government.
Skills Based Education
There are students that are interested in practical subjects as a base for skills acquisition to pursue businesses since they will be taught entrepreneurial skills in primary school, will be supported by the Government. Specific programmes will be offered by trades training schools to train these students. Graduates will be certified as mechanics, carpenters, painters, plumbers, bricklayers with craft certificates. Men and women with these skills provide the backbone to the manufacturing industry that UPND intends to reinvigorate in major ways.
Schools at all levels must be and will be incubators of ideas and innovation. To this effect, UPND will create a special fund for this innovation lab. Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) clubs will be fully reactivated in schools to encourage innovation. Top innovations will be passed on to the industry. Universities and colleges including trade schools will be funded from the innovation fund to finance their Research and Development (R&D). Private sector entities who will use the universities for R&D will receive incentives.
Education is the key to prosperity. UPND is committed to ensuring that Zambia builds a solid human resource base. Human capital development is a priority for UPND and the UND Government will allocate funds for education and not wasting resources on traffic lights that are not serving a purpose.
This is UPND, August 12th you cast your vote; on August 13th we start working for you.
HH aka Bally