By STEVEN ZANDE –
THE Higher Education Authority (HEA) has said the Government’s intention to introduce entrance examinations for college and university students will raise the calibre of graduates being produced at institutions of higher learning.
Higher Education Minister Nkandu Luo recently announced that the Government would be introducing entrance examinations for prospective university and college students in an effort to curb malpractices in university admittance.
HEA director – registration and accreditation – Vatalicy Chifwepa said the examining of students at this stage would ensure only capable learners were admitted to institutions of higher learning, thereby improving the output of universities in the country.
“At the moment we have a problem because some of the students being admitted in universities do not have the capacity due to high levels of exam malpractices during the Grade 12 examinations,” Dr Chifwepa said.
He said in an interview on Tuesday that the current situation where people used fake qualifications to access university space was eroding credibility of the country’s education sector.
Dr Chifwepa said this was disadvantaging genuine students and individuals from poor backgrounds from accessing spaces in colleges and universities.
He said this trend was affecting the quality of the graduates being churned out by universities because ineligible students did not have the capacity to produce the skills required in the industry.
Dr Chifwepa said when the entrance examinations were implemented there would be a need for tight monitoring of the exercise so that students could not pay their way into universities.
The Authority expressed worry that some secondary schools had concentrated on tutoring pupils to specifically answer examination questions at Grade 12, and that this was resulting in half-baked students.
Dr Chifwepa said pupils were meant to study to understand and not only answer exam questions as understanding what they learnt helped them have a firm grip on the subjects which sustained competence at tertiary level.
He said the Authority was determined to re-introduce sanity to higher education as this had a bearing on the skills base required to develop the nation.