His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu on Friday 19th February 2021 commissioned the newly completed teaching and learning complex housing two lecture theatres with a cumulative sitting capacity of 700 students.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, President Lungu said he was delighted to officiate at the commissioning of the new teaching and learning complex because the project was funded through internally generated resources.
“This complex has been built from revenue realized through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the University of Zambia and Graduare Properties Limited. This is an example of what could be achieved if the government worked together with the private sector to develop our country. This project is also a reflection of the drive and success of my government and the people of Zambia as we pursue policies and programmes that positively impact the needs of our citizens,” he said.
President Lungu said the government was encouraged by the effort the University of Zambia was making to improve its internal revenue generation capacity through the use of the Private Public Partnership arrangement.
He said the government desired to ensure that all public universities continue to operate in a financially sustainable manner. “To this effect, my government will continue supporting all efforts by public universities to ensure that they achieve financial sustainability,” he said.
President Lungu further implored the higher education sector to respond to the changing dynamics in education by providing leadership in the transformation of the higher education sector within the focus areas of quality, relevance, access, participation, equity and inclusiveness.
“My government desires that the University of Zambia becomes a safe and secure tertiary education institution. To this end, I am delighted to announce that through the road de-congestion project, the government has provided eleven million kwacha to fence off and secure the university of Zambia,” he said.
President Lungu thanked all the cooperating partners for their contributions towards the advancement of education in Zambia. “Please continue providing all the support and working with the government because this is the only sure way we shall address the needs of our learners,” he said.
Meanwhile, Acting Minister of Higher Education Dr Dennis Wanchinga said the coming on stream of the two lecture theatres would benefit the UNZA in that it will increase the amount of time devoted to the delivery of learning programmes as well as help in effective social distancing in compliance with one of the golden rules for the prevention of the covid-19 pandemic.
“Your Excellency, with the advent of the covid-19 pandemic, as a ministry, we have identified congestion in classrooms and lecture theatres as a potential super-spreader of the virus. To counter this, all universities have been directed to phase the delivery of learning programmes by way of reducing the number of students in classes as well as the contact time. Also, they have all been directed to adopt the blending of physical classroom sessions with online learning as a delivery mode,” he said.
And UNZA Vice-Chancellor Prof Luke Mumba said the teaching and learning complex was constructed using the funds realized from UNZA’s partnership with Graduare Properties Limited at East Park Mall. “The total cost of this teaching and learning complex, Your Excellency amounted to Twenty Seven million Kwacha,” he said.
Prof Mumba said the teaching and learning complex housed two ultra - modern lecture theatres with a combined sitting capacity of 700 students. He said in addition to the two lecture theatres, the teaching and learning complex had a board room, two computer laboratories, two tutorial rooms and twenty-eight offices as well as self-contained two kitchettenes, water reticualtion, standby genest and other facilities.
“We thank you, Your Excellency, for providing the leadership in higher education which has witnessed attainment of key infrastructure development projects in the sector country-wide. We consider it befitting that this outstanding achievement in the infrastructure development projects at the UNZA is commissioned by you our national leader,” he said.
Prof Mumba said UNZA stood ready to do even better if the government and other partners could help to upgrade laboratories, the library as well as completing the project to construct student hostels both at the main campus and at the ridgeway campus.
“Therefore, I encourage our parents and employers, to think no further but bring their children and staff to train with the University of Zambia in any one of its over 240 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across UNZA’s thirteen schools and three institutes,” he said.