A 21-year-old NIPA student has scooped an outstanding ABMA achievement award in computer engineering.
The Association of Business Managers and Administrators (ABMA) is an independent examination board operating internationally in over 18 countries worldwide.

In an interview, Stephen Muchende said gaining international recognition is no mean achievement.
"I am very excited looking at the course itself. It is a very good achievement for me because I got a distinction and most students end up with credits. When you look at the number of students who sat for this course at NIPA, we were over 50, but I am the only one who wrote exams. ABMA has just introduced the new syllabus, so it is difficult to find recommended books," Stephen said.

He urged students to concentrate on education, saying that education is the key to a bright future.
"For them students to get what I got, they need to study hard and be focused in life by not having the tendency of skipping lectures. Without the help of my lecturers, I would not have obtained these results because they made me understand what I was studying," Stephen said.

He appealed to the government to make Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) training compulsory in schools by incorporating it the school curriculum.

"Computer engineering is an important course because the world in which we live in now has gone digital. Wherever you go there are computers and if you do not have computer skills thereĀ“s nothing that you can do," Stephen said.

He bemoaned the prevailing high unemployment levels in the country.

"The government should come up with a deliberate policy to develop ICTs in the country. It is very difficult for us to get employed because wherever you go they will ask for work experience and when you look at us graduates that is when we have completed our courses, so for us to find employment it is not easy. So, I would urge the government to put up necessary policies that would create employment opportunities for us youths," Stephen said.

He urged school leavers to generate interest in computer-related courses.

"It is very easy to pursue computer studies as long as someone is dedicated. I believe that if you like what you are doing, then nothing is difficult in life. I have a single mum; it has not been easy for her to sponsor me to school, she sacrifices a lot for us four children so that we can finish school," said Stephen, who completed Grade 12 at Mpika Boys High School in 2007.