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Government says the construction of the Frederick Chiluba University in Luapula Province will start next month.

Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo told ZNBC News in an interview at her office that the contractor is only waiting for the environmental assessment certificate from the Zambia Environmental Management Authority-ZEMA for works to start.

She says the works were initially supposed to commence this August but were delayed because ZEMA was still concluding its report on environmental impact.

And commenting on the number of students stranded in India, professor Luo said government has requested Zambian embassies in different countries to take inventory of students who are not on government sponsorship.

She said it has come to her attention that in China alone there are more than three thousand students studying on self-sponsorship compared to the three hundred on government bursary.

Professor Luo has since urged parents with students abroad to register them with her Ministry and relevant embassies.

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has released three point Two Million Kwacha to sponsor over hundred students in tertiary education.

Barclays Bank Managing Director Mizinga Melu says the bank is working with the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in identifying vulnerable young people to benefit from the programme.

And Minster of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo has expressed happiness that the programme is reinforcing government’s vision in transforming the educational sector.

Professor LUO said this during the launch of Barclays Bank scholarship programme for tertiary education in Lusaka.

Government says it has put strategies in place to increase access to quality education at all levels in the education system.

Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga says increased access to education and enhanced learning achievements is key to improving the earning power and living standards of citizens.

Speaking in a speech read on his behalf by his Permanent Secretary Henry Tukombe during the opening of the Examination Council of Zambia Service Centre in Mpika yesterday, Dr. Wanchinga said the interventions have resulted in increased candidature for ECZ examinations at Grades 7, 9 and 12.

Dr. Wanchinga has noted that decentralization of service provision by the ECZ is directly addressing the challenges of access.

The Minister further observed that the establishment of the ECZ service centers signifies timely response by the council to the Growth of the school population in the country.

And speaking earlier, ECZ Chairperson Samuel Banda said the establishment of the Mpika service centre will remove the burden on residents who in the past used to travel to Lusaka to access ECZ services.

Professor Banda said the centre will service all ECZ related queries for residents in Muchinga and Northern Provinces.

He urged residents in the two provinces to take advantage of the centre to access services offered by the ECZ.

And Professor Banda has appealed to the residents to report any suspected cases of malpractice to the centre.

He said any case of examination malpractice that goes unreported affects the integrity and quality of leaders the country will produce.

Professor Banda noted that tempering with examinations at any level of education will also affect the country’s development.

And Mpika secondary school for boys Head Teacher Lillian Changwe has thanked Government and the ECZ for considering Mpika to house the service centred Delivering a vote of thanks on behalf of Northern and Muchinga provinces, Mrs. Changwe said the establishment of the centre will go a long way in addressing the many concerns from learners and other people

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