LUSAKA, Feb. 07
(Xinhua/GNA) - The Zambian government has scrapped meal allowances for students
in public universities.
Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo said all 2019 first year students under the Students Loans and Higher Education Scholarships scheme will no longer get meal allowance, adding that the scheme will now only cover accommodation and tuition fees to be paid directly to the learning institutions while students will only be paid book and project allowances.
She told reporters during a press briefing on Wednesday that the decision will however only affect new students and does not affect returning students.
She said the move to scrap the meal allowance was meant to scale up more resources that will be distributed in more public universities that have been included in the government's loan scheme for students.
According to her, the country's biggest and second biggest public universities, the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU) will receive 1,900 scholarships each while only 1,000 of them will be distributed amongst five other public universities. Late payment of meal allowances have been a source of student protests at the country's two biggest public university.
Last year, a female student died due to suffocation as police fired teargas canisters in their rooms in order to quell a riot that erupted at UNZA following delays in paying the meal allowance.