Poly students threaten unspecified action over prolonged holiday

Polytechnic students of the University of Malawi (Unima) have expressed dismay with the prolonged delay in opening the college, threatening unspecified action should the powers-that-be remain stock-still on the matter.

Nyasa Times reported last week that Unima constituent colleges – Chancellor College and the Polytechnic – had failed to open for the 2013/2014 academic year due to unnamed reasons through the colleges’ communiqués to students.

“The actual dates for opening of the College shall be announced to the students in due course through the media,” a statement from the Chancellor College Registrar read.

Students at the Polytechnic who were supposed to report for school this month wrote an open letter to the university council last week expressing their worries over an on-going lecturers’ the strike at the college.


The lecturers are on strike following failure by government to honour a 21% salary increment agreed upon last year.

Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Polytechnic student union president Owen Chikoti said the prolonged holiday is unfair.

“There is no proper in flow of information with regard to the issue,” said Chikoti.

He added: “The development is affecting education at the institution.”

But President Joyce Banda, on her way home from the US, assured the students that all issues at Unima are going to be resolved.

She wrote on her official Facebook page: “Education is indeed key to unlock a person’s opportunities. To university students, please be assured that I have read all your messages which call for the opening of Poly.

“This is being looked at with high priority. Right now I am having meetings and attending to urgent matters of our nation of which the university issue is one of them. You will get updated as soon as I can as I have just arrived from abroad.”

The university calendar was seriously disrupted during the almost three-month-old academic freedom battle during the reign of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.

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