A show down is looming as the Higher Education Authority – HEA has directed the Copperbelt University – CBU to continue running the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes at the Higher Education Institution (HEI) until further notice, effectively annulling an earlier ban by the Health Professional Council of Zambia – HPCZ
HEA Director General Stephen Simukanga said as mandated by the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 and Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2016, HEA is the custodian of all HEIs in Zambia, be it public or private, and has the authority to accredit Learning Programmes at these HEIs.
“For this reason, in May 2018, the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes at CBU were audited by experts acting on behalf of HEA for purposes of accreditation. Preliminary findings of the audit indicated that the Learning Programmes had areas that needed improvement,” he said.
Simukanga further said following the findings, HEA began a process of guiding CBU in thoroughly addressing the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies and had asked the HEI to develop an implementation plan over a period of not more than one year.
In a statement issued by HEA communications officer Birbal Musoba, Simukanga added that, this was expertly deemed as a sufficient period of time in which to rectify all of the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies.
“Moreover, as it was expertly determined that the shortcomings of the Learning Programmes did not warrant the closure of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes as “continuous improvement” of these Learning Programmes is instituted, CBU shall continue providing these Learning Programmes while they address the shortcomings that have been identified,” Simukanga directed.
On November 9, 2018 Health Professions Council of Zambia – HPCZ ordered Copperbelt University – CBU to immediately discontinue offering three programmes at its School of Medicine for failure to meet set standards in accordance with the Health Professions Act Number 24 of 2009 of the Laws of Zambia.
“HPCZ inspectors discovered in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme among other anomalies that the Copperbelt University School of Medicine engaged an unregistered course coordinator who has been practicing without a valid license since January 2017, that two other lecturers are not registered with HPCZ and that all 198 students under the programme are not indexed,” HPCZ Registrar Aaron Dr. Mujajati stated.