With effect from January 2019, government will no longer pay meal allowances to University of Zambia or Copperbelt University students, Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo has revealed in this audio.
Last week, Copperbelt University students rioted over delayed payment of meal allowances, a trend that is also rife at the university of Zambia in Lusaka.
But Professor Luo says since the delayed payment of meal allowances was the main source of unrest at institutions of higher learning, government would abolish the payment of the stipend next year so that students survive on their own.
She said this move, to only pay tuition fees to students, would also allow government to accommodate more students on bursary, adding that parents also need to show responsibility by giving their children pocket money when sending them to school.
This revelation was made when a Copperbelt University students’ representative called the minister to consult her on when students would receive their allowances.
Luo assured the students that government had already disbursed the allocation through ZANACO bank and that the money would reflect in their accounts by Monday (today).
Below is the conversation between Professor Luo and the named Copperbelt University student.
Student: Hello, good afternoon Prof
Luo: Good afternoon
Student: I am calling to make a follow up on allowances at the Copperbelt University, at CBU.
Luo: Can you wait until Monday and check on your accounts. What am I supposed to say on a Saturday, really?
Student: Oh, sure. Yesterday we were told the money would start reflecting today but it’s 15:00 hours, we haven’t received.
Luo: Yes, you know banks don’t do work on Saturday and Sundays so what am I supposed to to you? Me I have told you that the loan board yesterday worked on your allowances.
Luo: what is now happening is that, and I am told they informed Zanaco to work round the clock but maybe they will start working on it on Monday for something. The allowances are coming. Now it is between you and the bank.
Student: Sure, Prof, we’d really appreciate if you would make a follow up so that by Monday our allowances can be in. We don’t want unnecessary attention in school.
Luo: Anyway, starting January we will not be paying any pocket money allowances. We will only pay for your tuition, we will pay for project, we will pay for your accommodation. I think this allowance thing is going to drive us crazy. That way, we can even support more students. That’s too much, I think we need to stop this allowance [thing]. Let your parents also take some responsibility for you people at that school, it is too much. So in the new year, I will announce so that you know that when you’re coming to school, you come with your own pocket money. And also so that we can focus on other serious things in the nation.
Student: sure Prof, thank you
Luo: Thank you