UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba addressing delegates during the 5th World Education Leaders Forum in Busan, South Korea.

The University of Zambia (UNZA) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba says that intellectual education must be founded on character that has been educated to deal with the softer issues of life covering ethical behavior, adherence to the laws of the land, integrity, kindness, generosity, tolerance to persons that hold views different from ours and putting the needs for societal development above our own.

Prof. Mumba said this in Busan, South Korea during the 5th World Education Leaders Forum (WELF) which is organized under the theme: “Character Education: Raising Integrated leaders Apt for the 4th Industrial Revolution”. The WELF, which has brought together 3,800 participants who include youths, higher education leaders, education policy makers and ministers in Governments, is expected to run from 2 - 13 July 2017.

“Our education system is very good at producing graduates that can think in an epistemic way. The ability to contribute to new ways of doing things is evidence that our education systems have matured in this dimension of delivering education. There are many success stories of the capacity that our institutions of higher learning have built in the development of the intellectual mind and its virtues covering critical thinking, curiosity, open-mindedness and intellectual courage,” Prof. Mumba.

He addressed the need for integration of character education in curricular in preparing the youths for the 4th Industrial Revolution and highlighted the need for institutions of higher learning to guard against placing an overly emphasis on intellectual education.

WELF has brought to the fore the importance of education in personal and national development. It underscores the mandate universities and institutions of higher learning have to supply nation states with the necessary human capital required to implement the agenda for national development and to eradicate household poverty.

The Forum has been built on a consensus that it is the presence of educated workers that will accelerate the adoption of existing ideas for development and the creation of innovative ways of adopting technology to support development globally.

The WELF has provided a platform for exploring various interventions aimed at changing the mindset for national development. There is consensus that the education system existing in different countries must strike a good balance in curricular for higher education to graduate men and women with a strong intellectual foundation underpinned by a cultural orientation towards performance, productivity, morality, organizational justice and integrity.

Different paradigms have been discussed on how to approach character education. There is a view that the academics and teachers must be equipped with the skills as a starting point. While the teaching of Christian values has also been espoused as effective in strengthening character, the cross country application of the same, it was noted, may be constrained by the presence of other belief systems.

Prof Mumba submitted that a revolutionary transformation in the development of our nations would come when our intellectually educated men and women raise their productivity to match the success stories we see today in countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and so on.

However, WELF is concerned that the efforts of many countries to raise institutional and national productivity is often negated by losses through corruption and the work of leaders who act in self - interest.

By Kennedy Msusa, Busan – South Korea