“Encouraging Student Expression”

… NACOSU is advocating for increased meal allowances during times of economic shifts.

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (08-05-2024) – The National Council of Student Unions (NACOSU) has formally urged the Zambian government to consider increasing meal allowances, recognizing the strain students face amidst economic shifts.

Micbelo Chizombe NACOSU Chairperson, told journalists a media, that the prolonged power outages has the detrimental impact of on students’ research quality, calling for improved infrastructure and support.

Chizombe outlined NACOSU’s revamped advocacy approach, emphasizing constructive dialogue over coercion, while also acknowledging past engagements as significant.

He said the union’s core objective is to redefine students’ roles, holding the government accountable for their welfare, inspired by Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda’s patriotism.

Chizobe said NACOSU is committed to reshaping student advocacy through innovative partnerships, focusing on educational excellence.

James Muleya, Vice President of the Evalyne Horn College Student Union, seeks to shed light on recent initiatives and challenges faced by students, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues and climate change.

Through advocacy efforts, Muleya and his team are working to preserve fruit-bearing trees and promote tree planting initiatives, crucial steps in mitigating the effects of climate change.

However, Muleya also highlighted the significant challenges students have faced, including the abrupt removal of meal allowances in 2020, which caused widespread distress among students.

Muleya urges the government to take two critical steps: reduce interest rates on student loans and ensure meal allowances align with the cost of living.

“By doing so, the government can help alleviate the financial burden on students and support their well-being and academic success,” he stated.

Mishek Mumba, NRDC Student Union, warned that climate change poses an imminent threat to Zambia’s agriculture, necessitating swift action and collaboration from all stakeholders.

“Erratic rainfall, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events are devastating crop yields, food security, and the livelihoods of millions of Zambian farmers,” he emphasized.

To mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture, Mumba urged both the government and private sector to provide crucial support, including funding, modern machinery, and irrigation systems.

He stressed the importance of embracing sustainable agriculture practices to address climate change challenges.

“This includes tree planting, conservative farming methods, and efficient water usage,” he explained.

Mumba called for unity and support among all sectors of society, including students, farmers, government, and private entities, to secure a sustainable future for Zambia’s agricultural sector.

“We must work together to address this critical issue and ensure food security, sustainable agriculture practices, and a resilient agricultural future for all,” he concluded emphasizing environmental conservation efforts and solidarity during challenging times, pledging unity for collective progress.

Rodgers Tembo, University of Zambia Student Union, highlighted the crucial importance of meal allowances for university students and the distress caused by their sudden removal without explanation.

Tembo acknowledged the efforts of students, the government, and the Minister of Education in addressing issues related to education affordability and accessibility.

He expressed a visionary goal of making education entirely free and accessible to all, starting with incremental steps such as reinstating allowances and reducing loan burdens.

Tembo emphasized the significance of engaging with government officials and advocating for better education policies and services.

He acknowledged the progress being made towards improving education affordability and accessibility, while also recognizing the need for continued efforts in this direction.

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