The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) on Monday petitioned Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya over the indefinite closure of some universities and the recent refusal by the National Council for Higher Education (Nche) to accredit some colleges in the country.
The coalition said it utilized rule 58 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders which allows citizens and interested groups to petition Parliament on issues of national interest and wants the Speaker to use his powers of his office to have the matters tabled in the House so that legislators can deliberate.
“Our call for Parliament to use its legislative, representative and oversight function roles to deliberate on the issue and in turn to impress on the relevant authorities to act on the matters,” Benedicto Kondowe, executive director of Csec told Nyasa Times.
“We only hope that the Speaker’s Office will give due attention to have the petition tabled during the Private Members business day which falls on Thursday,” he added.
The petition signed by Kondowe and the coalition’s Board Chairperson Julie Juma, faults government for “unsavoury political statements” which has led to university closure.
“As a country operating in a global village, the worrying development taking place in higher learning education institutions have the potential to further compromise on the standing of our education system in the global market,” the petitions reads in part.
In the petition, Csec argues that the reasons for closure of the universities have been obvious and predictable only that government is by-passing contact and dialogue in dealing with the impasse.
Government has also faulted for politicising the accreditation of institutions of higher learning.
“There are evident politicisation and a lack of autonomy in the management and governance of institutions of higher learning as well as Nche,” reads the petition in part.
Chairperson of Education, Science and Technology of Parliament, Dr Elias Chakwera who received the petition said his committee shares the concerns of the coalition on the standoff in public universities.
On accreditation of colleges, Chakwera said government should issue “clarification” so that students who have been affected should know the direction they gave to take.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :