Poly students bemoan low upkeep allowance

Students at Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, are protesting against a recent increment of meals and upkeep allowance, saying it is not keeping pace with the current economic situation Malawi is going through.

Malawians have been experiencing economic hard times due to ever increasing commodity prices on the market especially after devaluation of Malawi Kwacha which was followed by its floatation.

This forced some Polytechnic students to push the authorities to hike the upkeep fees from around MK20. 000.

One of the students told Nyasa Timesthat the new increment is making residential students getting K30, 000 per month while non-residential students are getting K40, 000 per month.

Students crossing the road at Polytechnic in Blantyre.

“But this is not enough and we are still failing to meet the basic daily needs due to ever-increasing prices of goods,” said student.

According to the student this had led to the increase in theft incidents at the campus.

“Theft of laptops and their peripherals is rampant at the school. And most students do this to compliment their upkeep allowance so that they should earn a decent living in these tough economic times.”

The laptops, say the students, are sold at businesspeople at Blantyre market who re-sells them to those in need of the gadgets.

The students were recently planning to hold protests to push the authorities to further increase the allowance but were held back fearing that this would lead to the closure of the institution as was the case during the recent past.

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