Management at Natural Resource College (NRC) in Lilongwe has stuck to their guns not to reduce tuition fees for students arguing the institution is not subverted by the government.
The training fee was raised a month ago from K134, 000 to K279, 000 per semester, a development which has led to students abandoning classes and staging demonstration demanding a 49 percent reduction.
The acting principal at the college, Jayne Mtethiwa said: “The institution is different from other colleges which are sponsored by government whose school fees are reasonable.”
The acting principle blamed the reaction on a few students who are finding it hard to pay the new rate of fees.
“Over 50 percent of the scholars have already paid their school fees but it’s only a few disgruntled students who are perpetrating the stay away,” explained Mtethiwa.
NRC Students union president, Patience Phiri expressed frustration over the development saying the school fees hike would only benefit the rich and affect the poor more.
He therefore appealed to the college management to heed the student’s outcry by revising the fees downwards.
But some students said they will not relent on their cause until they are heard.
Meanwhile, some lecturers at the institution are planning to stage a strike demanding reinstatement of their colleagues who were dismissed on allegation that they are involved in the squandering of money amounting to K10 million.
A source close to the lecturers said their colleagues’ dismissal was unfairly pursued because conclusive evidence indicates that the money was misappropriated by some college officials.
The College has since been shut down indefinitely following violent clashes between police and rioting students.
The riots were triggered by students who were demanding an immediate reversal in the decision to raise tuition.
The students went on the rampage destroying property, looting shops and blocking roads.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets at the angry demonstrators to end the chaos. College and police authorities ordered students to vacate the premises within an hour or risk being arrested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :