UCZ Varsity Celebrates Golden Jubilee

2014 marks 50 years of Zambia’s independence and as the nation takes time to celebrate this historical event, stakeholders who include the Church and United Church of Zambia (UCZ) in particular, feel the Golden Jubilee celebrations provide a perfect stage for reflecting on economic sectors such as education play to the development process of the country.

UCZ more than any other stakeholder has every reason to be excited about Zambia’s 50 years of independence as the event coincides with the church’s celebration of its Golden Jubilee which falls next year.

This certainly should be the more reason why UCZ, through its United Church of Zambia University College (UCZUC) realised that the 50 years of independence the nation is this year celebrating is meaningless if as stakeholders fail to take stock of the achievements in the education sector by analysing how best standards can be improved.

In taking stock of the important role education plays to the development process of the nation, UCZUC has embarked on a vigorous transformation exercise aimed at positioning itself to becoming a centre of excellence in the area of education.

According to Reverend Jonathan Kangwa, the registrar of the United Church of Zambia University College, the institution has broaden its scope of service in the area of education support to the nation.

Rev Kangwa said UCZUC, which was registered with the Ministry of Education under the 1999 University Act, was widening its horizon by opening more educational programmes to cater for the demand of the Zambian community and beyond.

The Schools include: School of Theology and Religious Studies, School of Education and School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

He said the University was also in the process of opening a School of Agriculture and Veterinary at Chipembi Farm College in Chisamba near Lusaka.

All this was taking shape ahead of the nation’s as well as the UCZ’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, which Rev Kangwa said meant a lot for the life and history of the church.

“Zambia’s celebration of 50 years of political independence means a lot for the life and History of the United Church of Zambia.

“First, the Church fully participated in the liberation struggle. Second, after political Independence in 1964 and after Church Union in 1965, the UCZ has continued to partner with government in the provision of education services, development and health care and thirdly, the celebration of Zambia’s 50 years of independence coincides with the United Church of Zambia’s celebration of Golden Jubilee which will take place next year,” Rev Kangwa said.

UCZUC, which is situated in Mindolo in the City of Kitwe, traces its history of inception to Kashinda Mission, in Mporokoso District of Northern Zambia, where in 1949 the London Missionary Society provided training to the clergy.

In 1961, the mission of training the clergy moved to the present site within Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation grounds, which at that time was called the Mindolo Mission.

Rev Kangwa said UCZUC stands as a historical monument of the Church Union that took place on 16th January, 1965 at Mindolo, an event which was graced by the First Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

He said apart from giving religious instruction to the clergy the commitment of the United Church of Zambia University (College) to the wellbeing of the Zambian society can be demonstrated in two ways being education support and students exchange programmes, and training of chaplains for Zambia Security and Defence Forces.

“The United Church of Zambia University ensures that its students receive competitive and internationally recognised education training,” he said.

In this manner, Rev Kangwa said, students get to receive an opportunity to go for student exchange programmes abroad.

The programme has thus come to be called ‘Face to Face’ Doran Munsimbwe, a 3rd Year student who went to India under the 2013 student exchange programme said: “I thank the United Church of Zambia University College for giving me an opportunity to go to India for student exchange programme.

“The programme exposes you to other contexts and cultures. It also exposes you to the impact of globalisation”.

Emeldah Namukonda a 3rd year student who also participated in the 2013 Face to Face Zambia student exchange programme equally said: “The UCZUC helps its students to learn more about the social, economic and religious matters affecting people both in Africa and the global north”.

As if that is not enough, UCZUC also has in store some other competitive scholarships to financially struggling students.

Under the chaplain training programme, Rev Kangwa was categorical in stating that the United Church of Zambia University College was wellknown for its commitment to the training of Chaplains for both Security and Defence Forces in Zambia.

“It has trained Chaplains for Zambia Army, Zambia Air force, Zambia National Service (ZNS), Zambia Police and Zambia Prison Service,” Rev Kangwa said.

Isaac Chipapala a 2nd Year Student who is from Zambia Air Force logistics command said: “I have found UCZUC to be very helpful with regards to the quality of education they offer. The training is beneficial to both the Civilian world and the Military world of which I am part of. The training is beneficial for Chaplains at local and International level such as Peace Keeping engagements”.

And Floyd Chinyanta a 2nd Year Student from Zambia Police Mobile Unit said: “The UCZUC does not only provide an environment for academic excellence, it also gives a platform for ministerial experience for Chaplaincy. It is indeed a Premier Christian University (College) of excellence.”

In response to the growing student population, the UCZ has embarked on infrastructure development.

Currently the UCZU is raising funds to build a modern lecture theatre which when constructed, will serve as a multipurpose hall.

The facility will also serve both Administrative and Academic needs.

Rev Kangwa said it was in view of this that the University College was appealing to the members of the United Church of Zambia, Christians and the general public to become friends of the University and provide both financial, material and moral support.

“You can make a contribution of K200 and above. Or become a friend by pledging a monthly contribution of your choice,” Rev Kangwa said.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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