Zambia scraps meal allowances for students in public universities

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Lusaka (Xinhua) The Zambian government on Wednesday said that it had scrapped meal allowances for students in public universities.

Minister of Higher Education, Nkandu Luo, said this at a news conference held in Lusaka.

She said 2019 students under the Students Loans and Higher Education Scholarships scheme would no longer get meal allowance.

The minister added that the scheme would 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 said the decision would, however, affect only 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 would 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.

In 2018, 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.

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