Students from Chancellor College (Chanco) of the University of Malawi asked Predident Peter Mutharika to immediately intervene on the ongoing strike by the college staff and open the school “as soonest.”
Good number of students from Chanco turned up for the peaceful march in Lilongwe on Thursday morning and presented their petition to Lilongwe Civic Office through Lilongwe City Council Acting Director of Administration, Stallichi Mwambiwa.
The petition addressed to State President Peter Mutharika, Chancellor for the university asks him to “urgently intervene in the industrial dispute” and demands that the college be opened “as soonest”
On March 15, 2017, Chancellor College announced that classes for 2016/17 academic year were not to begin on 20th March 2017 as earlier announced as support staff went on strike demanding equal pay with their fellow workers in public universities.
“Our concern is very straight forward, that Chancellor College students we would like to have the college opened very soon” Said Sylvester Ayuba James, president for the Students Union of Chanco and continued “because the prolonged unceremonious holiday does not help anyone.”
“We want Chancellor of the University who is also the Head of State and Government to quickly intervene in the dispute between the University Council and the Academic Staff Union of the University of Malawi and have the dispute resolved so that we have the college opened the soonest.”
Ayuba said the matter is quite small and could have been avoided at an earlier stage.
He said failure to open the college the students will take further action. He disclosed that currently, students have partnered with different non-governmental organisations who together will launch an online petition which will be sent to an international body like “United Nations or any other international organisations that could be relevant in our calls.”
He added that “If the president does not respond to our petition within the immediate time we can also continue holding these demonstrations perhaps every Thursday until our college is open. Because we can’t just sit and watch things get this worse”
The student union president said it is the ultimate responsibility of the university council to ensure that the college calendar is not disturbed.
He said the prolonged closure of the college has brought a number of challenges to students. He mentioned that these alleges range from finances, demotivation and prolonged stay in college by the students.
After receiving the petition, Mwambiwa has promised students that his office will forward the letter to the responsible office immediately.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :