Saturday, November 5, 2011

By Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama

This is my version of the truth whichever way we choose to look at it, and i do well know that truth has a piercing sensation to the ear, so am ready for any stick. Zambia has continued to churn out half-baked or sub-standard graduates, period. The excuse of not having enough funding to academic institutions may not really hold anymore. The other hype we get of Zambian doctors or graduates in general performing well, no, actually the word doing the rounds is ‘Wonders’ in their tour of duty outside the country as expatriates is am afraid, after the checks i have done, is more myth than anything. It pretty much exists only as a mere figment of the imaginations of whoever chooses to utter such unfounded balderdash. The cornerstone of any emerging nation which wants to feed off its educational system or its production of intellectual elites ultimately needs to have a strong research oriented approach to development. This had been my personal conclusion while working as an under-graduate student at The Institute of Consultancy Applied Research And Extension Studies) ICARES, Copperbelt University. This country’s research structures are pretty much non-existent. What? Mount Makulu Research station or the clique at NCSR (National Council for Scientific Research) busy looking into maize and cassava varieties, UNZA re-producing brick making machines or welding treadle irrigation pumps for farmers ! Ooh please move over!

P.S To Brother John Bravo’s comment in the string on the above subject, ‘thats wat happens if u have good education infrastructure and equipments.’ Does seem to me like an excuse from a former graduate student trying hard to justify why they can never emulate their Ugandan counterparts in making technological milestones such as Kiira EV. I have however not quite gotten to fully analyse what we may humbly term as a regional milestone, well,at least by African standards. Did these students merely assemble this ka proto-type in Livingstone motor assemblers fashion or they actually initiated it following all the stages of Research and Search Development? Did they perform all the necessary material physical and chemical tests for the body of the car and all its parts? Did they subject the car to stringent aerodynamic tests? Was fuel conversion ratios and the suitability of the unit for typical average African terrain and road surface looked into? Looking at its surface clearance it does look better suited for the streets of down-town Tokyo that for the roads of the average street in Kampala. Let me not take away anything from their achievement.

Here is another scenario, all those that enjoy watching dazzling footballing skills either from The EPL or Spanish La Liga will attest to the high level entertainment we are subjected to. Are we honestly still going to hold and maintain that that brilliant interchange of passes mid turf and the quality of the final execution or the conversion of goals can never happen among Zambian players because of poor football infra-structure? This is exactly where I begin to develop a brain tumour as with my limited thinking capacity I totally fail to see why that would have anything to do with it. Here is an experiment we may choose to try. Let us say for arguments sake that we uproot these Zambian strikers and take them to the best stadia in the world, how long would it take them to play the kind of football we see from foreign players?

We are all too familiar with situations when water utility companies in a baffling show of ineptitude, you live very near a river system but your taps in the houses have run dry for days. The never ending annoying situation of power outages should not be allowed because in a country that has been producing electrical engineers surely they would have managed to get to the bottom of whatever it is that causes people who pay electricity bills at such high tariffs should be further inconvenienced in that fashion. These companies ought to have qualified electrical engineers to advise them on the correct power ratings for these components that keep blowing up. Their management should know about contingency measures when there are unforeseen occurrences such as these so that their clients receive uninterrupted supply of water.

And finally on a rather small matter Ku Bo John Bravo above, kindly know that the word equipment is never pluralised as equipments anywhere in the world, am only saying do not lynch me dah!!

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