Students at the Chancellor College in Zomba have said the decision by Vice President Salous Chilima to join the presidential race and contest as a candidate in the 2019 polls has given hope to students in universities across the country of a better future.
This was said by Ester Mwayi at a United Transformation Movement (UTM) rally at Gymkhana club who spoke on behalf of fellow Chanco students.
Chanco students graced the rally in large numbers and chanted songs in praise of Chilima who is alumnus of the college.
Mwayi said university education at Chanco and in all public universities has dwindled and students are living in harsh conditions in college campuses.
She said the DPP government raised tuition fees in public unversities from K175,000 to K 35,000, a figure majority students are struggling to meet.
” As if that is not enough, they promised that they will be giving out student loans but we are only getting K150,000. Most students are failing to pay these new fees amounts and many are being withdrawn from school,” she said.
Mwayi also said parents and guardians are being overburdened to provide extra funds to the students for upkeep and accommoodation on top of the high fees.
She said allowances that students were previosuly receiving have been abolished, forcing most students in public universities to live like destitutes.
” Though we are in univeristy but our living conditions are not different from those in primary schools. That is why students here at Chacellor College and in all other universities see you Dr Chilima as the only hope for better university education and a better future for all,” she said.
Mwayi hailed Chilima’s pledge that UTM will create one million jobs in its first year, saying the promise is giving hope to univeristy students and the youth in Malawi that they will find jobs once they graduate.
She also bemoaned lack of proper facilities for students with disabilities in universities, which is affecting their right to proper environment for better eduaction.
In his address, Chilima assured all univeristy students that he appreciates their plight and said UTM government will address their problems once voted into government.
” We have heard all your problems at Chanco and in all other univeristies. We will articulate to you clear solutions to address these problems,” he said.
The Veep went on to oultine in detail UTM agenda to uplift education standards in Malawi and the vision as well as plansfor national development of Malawi once voted into power.
He urged Malawians to change mindest and start believing that redeeming and re-building the country as well as creating one million jobs in Malawi is possible.
Chilima studied at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, where he obtained a bachelor of social science majoring in economics and later a master’s degree in economics. In August 2015, Chilima obtained a doctor of philosophy in knowledge management from the University of Bolton in the United Kingdom.