Hundreds of education students under the Mzuzu University Open Distance Learning (ODL) haven’t had their teaching practice supervised following a long standing strike by both academic and non-academic staff members that forced the institution to shut down last week.
The staff unions are demanding a thirty percent salary hike which they argue, once honored, will help cushion their economic struggles.
But according to a statement by chairman of the council Dr Rex Harawa, much as they sympathized with the members of staff, there was no immediate solution to the problem.
The strike forced the institution to close on November 7 and according to Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (MUSREC) president Katatu Wazamazama the development has been a “blow” to the institution’s academic calendar and activities.
Katatu said in a statement that students doing education under the ODL programme have since not been supervised.
“It is sad to note that students on the ODL programme who are currently in different parts of the country doing teaching practice have not been supervised.
“These are students who have already incurred a lot of resources from the already grim resources they have,” said Katatu in a statement.
Nyasa Times understands that by going unsupervised the students might have to re-do the teaching practice.
Others affected are tourism and hospitality management on industrial attachments who were supposed to be supervised but have not.
“They were supposed to be supervised for their final grade but they cannot now,” added Katatu.
Meanwhile, a vibrand non-governmental organization Centre for the development of the people (CEDEP) has called on government to frantically resolve the tertiary education situation in the country.
Cedep warned that Malawi risked being called a “failed state” if authorities did not address issues of national importance such as the tertiary education crisis seriously.
Presently, the Polytechnic, Natural Resources College (NRC and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) – all public institutions of higher learning – are closed for varied reasons.
President Peter Mutharika and the Minister of Education Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano have been mum on the issue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :