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KANSANSHI Mine’s donation of mining survey equipment to the Copperbelt University (CBU) School of Mines could not have come at a better time than now. This is because survey equipment will not just serve as teaching aids but will help CBU to align its curriculum to industry needs. The modern equipment, one of the best on the market, will also improve teaching standards and practical aspects among students as they prepare to join the mining industry. For a long time, there seemed to be a mismatch between industry and the academic world. People who develop curriculum are usually not in sync with the demands of industry. Even when they are, they do not have appropriate equipment, so students graduate half-baked because they have no practical tools to work with.

As a result, graduates struggle and take long to settle in industry. This tends to make employers uncomfortable. At times, employers suspect that graduates may have forged the qualifications, when not. So, the gesture by Kansanshi is indeed commendable because the mining giant understands the need for learning institutions to have appropriate teaching aids. Rather than join the chorus of complaints about high learning institutions not aligning their curriculums to industry, the mining firm has chosen to walk the talk. Kansanshi has done well to make available state-of-the art equipment, which includes an electronic theodolite with a tripod and accessories critical for underground mine surveys. Assessments by institutions such as CBU are aligned with learning outcomes that help students reach the desired educational levels. The theory and practice reinforce what learners need to master and help them track their progress in the course and afterwards. Kansanshi Mine, as a potential employer, is being proactive by helping CBU shape the curriculum in line with the market demands CBU management will therefore take advantage of the equipment by revising the curriculum for students to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in the field.

The CBU School of Mines will greatly improve teaching standards and practical aspects among students as they prepare to join the mining industry. The equipment from Kansanshi will aid CBU to review the current curriculum. This will see CBU graduating ready-for-work students. Research on curriculum alignment shows a strong correlation to student achievement. It also helps to modify courses and programmes to better target student post-tertiary success and make better use of human resources. Beyond this is the gesture by Optron Company, which supplied the equipment at a 10 percent discount after they learnt that the equipment was being bought for a learning institution.

The donation by Kansanshi to CBU is also timely as the new dawn administration embarks on economic diversification. Other companies should emulate Kansanshi by working closely with tertiary institutions. Donation may not necessarily be equipment but manpower, educational materials and internships. Apart from the equipment being used by the School of Mines, companies and individuals in need of such equipment should be able to lease it at a fee. Mining will continue to be part of the country’s economic mainstay, hence the need by CBU to continue aligning itself with the mining industry. In fact, the School of Mines should be doing a lot of consultation in the mining sector for the benefit of the lecturers, students and the school.


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