Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has hit at the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of ‘blindfolding’ northerners that it will abolish its controversial quota system.
The quota system, which the Malawian government refers to as Equitable Access to University Education, requires higher education institutions to admit students based on where they come from. It is aimed at discouraging a trend under the merit system that saw people from the north entering higher education in greater numbers than students from the south.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times signed by Aford president Enoch Chihana’s spokesman Saulso Thindwa said the controversial quota system “is not only cruel to the people of the region, but also inhuman as it suppresses brilliant Northern Region students while promoting average students from other regions to have space at the University. “
The statement adds: “The quota system has become very unpopular among Northerners as most deserving students with good points, fail to have entry into the University.”
According to Aford, President Peter Mutharika wanted to make announcement of abolishing quoat system when he commissioned the Chitipa Water Supply Project.
Aford said: “DPP must be told that it is just wasting time on its plan to blindfold Northerners on the evil of the quota system of education. Let it be aware of the fact that Northerners have had enough of such harsh treatment under its leadership.”
However, Aford said government should construct public universities in the northern region as is the case with the Central and Southern regions.
Aford said it is “ an insult to the people of the Northern Region “on the plans that the DPP-led government to turn public Secondary Schools in the North into Universities.
“We have witnessed the state of the art university, which stands magnificently in Thyolo, Southern Region. We also have College of Medicine, Polytechnic, and other constituents of the University of Malawi in the Southern and Central Regions; yet North has none,” reads the statement.
It further states: “It is now rumoured that DPP intends to turn Mzuzu Government Secondary School into a University structure. For once, why can’t the Government build a proper University in the North other than turning Secondary Schools into universities? This clearly shows that the DPP led-Government does not value Northerners. DPP must stop taking Northerners for granted.”
President Mutharika has said groundwork for Mombera University in Mzimba is epxetced to start.
DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila rubbished Aford ‘s statement as “cheap political propaganda.”
Kasaila said quota system was introduced by Malawi Congress Party administration and not DPP, saying the Equitable Access to University Education is a government policy not party matter.
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