Students of the University of Malawi are threatening to hold demonstrations if authorities will not meet their demands by January 5.
Their demand includes the immediate reopening of the Polytechnic, Chancellor College and College of Medicine, and the increment on their upkeep allowance which currently stands at about MK32, 000 per month.
In a statement the University of Malawi Students Union says it is sad that the College of Medicine (Blantyre Campus) has been closed indefinitely for simple issues that they believe management had all the capacity to deal with.
“Just to add on that, the Malawi Polytechnic is still on holiday despite its holiday ending on December 7, 2014, according to the academic calendar. The supposedly 5 weeks’ holiday has been unnecessarily extended to 2 months without apparent reasons. The closure of this college and the extension of the holiday at Poly makes us conclude that UNIMA management does not want students to be in school at this particular time for reasons known to themselves,” reads the statement.
On stipends allowances the students say the money they getting cannot sustain them buying food for a month because of recent price hikes on foods and other commodities.
“Currently, students who are accommodated on campus get K32, 750 and if we divide it by K1, 700 which is the standard daily expense on food, you will find out that the money last for about 19 days. So what we are asking government and everyone who processes this money is that we need food or money for the remaining 11 days as per prolatar basis agreement that we signed with government.”
They says UNIMA has been facing these problem for a long time now, and this simply shows that “someone at the university office is not doing his or her job right” because all these poor and bad decisions made by colleges are duly endorsed by the university office.
“The issues have led to dwindling education standards in the once mighty institution,” reads the statement.
As a student body, the statement say, it believes that students are supposed to be in school and not at home.
“We say no to the act of treating students as if we are wives in a family whereby if there is a misunderstanding, they are sent to their parents for counseling. We therefore urge the management of College of Medicine, Chancellor College and Polytechnic to reopen the institutions as soon as possible while we are pondering on the everlasting solution to these problems.
“We want government to provide food allowances for the 11 days deficit that we are currently running on, with immediate effect.
“We want UNIMA council and/or government to resolve the Supporting Staff strike as soon as possible,” the statement says.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :