Malawi College of Fisheries in Mangochi has been non-operational for about half a year now following its closure in April due to fiscal incapacitation, Nyasa Times has established.
The closure reflects badly on government’s commitment towards ensuring the efficiency of the fisheries department.
Despite falling under the Ministry of Agriculture, the department received funding that was unable to support less than thirty students.
“We have been home for about six months now,” one of the students who opted for anonymity told Nyasa Times. “We had problems of food and other basic necessities that government is supposed to provide to us.”
Apparently, most of the students that go to the college are already government employees who go there for refresher or upgrading courses.
Well-placed sources at the college confessed that funding to the institution has been a mess.
“There is no will to support the institution on the part of government. It is frustrating,” one senior member of staff at the college said.
Director of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture could not immedietely comment.
Nyasa Times has learnt that the institution has continued to receive minute funding from the Ministry for the last few years which resulted in it having limited teaching and learning materials.
An anonymous visit to the college by this reporter revealed that the college has a single old modelled computer in its computer laboratory with its library crammed with outdated publications – most before 1980.
There was no internet access on the campus.
According to students, there is need for government to start offering diplomas after their two year period of training saying the award of a certificate was an “insult.”
Despite the situation, the fishing industry in Malawi generated jobs for more than four hundred thousand people and supports more than two millions households – directly and indirectly – according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Malawi’s annual economic report by the Ministry of Finance, Development and Economic Planning indicates that in 2010 Malawi exported 11 781 kilograms of aquarium fish which generated revenue amounting to MK21 474 834.
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