St John’s College of Nursing closes indefinitely over financial woes

St John’s College of Nursing in Malawi’s northern region district of Mzuzu has been indefinitely closed over underfunding, forcing the institution’s management to postpone the final year students’ graduation from October this month to April next year.

College principal Lily Thindwa said Wednesday that the failure by government and stakeholders to finance the institution for the last two quarters is behind the indefinite closure of the health personnel training institution.

“We need about K25 million to pay tuition and boarding facilities for the students which was not made available,” said Thindwa.

According to Thindwa, the students were sent home last month for an indefinite holiday following the development.

Chimbali: No immediate comment
Chimbali: No immediate comment

Nyasa Times established that students, who entered the college on 7th October 2010 and were supposed to graduate the same time this year for deployment in various health facilities in the country, are the most affected.

“We’d no option but to postpone their graduation to April next year,” Thindwa said.

Some of the students Nyasa Times talked to in separate interviews Tuesday decried the closure saying it has chiefly disturbed their calendar.

“We were about to start our end of semester exams prior to the closure,” said a student.

Minister of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali told a local radio Wednesday that he needed more time to respond to the issue.

According to our investigations, this is not the first time the school has been indefinitely closed over financial woes.

“I think we have serious financial problems,” one student who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

Of all Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) colleges it is only St John’s College of Nursing and St. Luke College of Health Sciences in Zomba that do not get funding from government, Nyasa Times understands.

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