University leaders have in vain been pushing for reopening of the universities

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—The prolonged closure of the Malawi Polytechnic, a constituent college of the university of Malawi,  has seen Parents and guardians whose wards are studying at the college losing their patience and have unanimously demanded  for an immediate reopening of the college.According to the Daily Times, on Saturday, the parents who came from across the country met in Lilongwe to strategise on the next course of action as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the university officials still engage each other in a blame game.

A representative of the parents, Mavuto Kapyeye, said the parents are disappointed with the prolonged delay as the students are just staying idle, losing their precious time.

“As parents and guardians, we are very concerned about the prolonged delay. The delay is affecting us in many ways, the students are our children and we are happy to see them progress in their education having them staying idle at home is worrisome,” he said as quoted by the paper.

Commenting on whether the students should pay the new hiked fees, Kapyeye said the parents are discussing the way forward.

“The unique thing about The Polytechnic is the argument about timing of the implementation of the new fees. There is an argument that despite being in a different calendar year, they are in a different academic year, so that’s what we want to unpack and see how we can resolve the problem,” he said.

The standoff between University of Malawi (Unima) leadership and students of The Polytechnic over fees hike, following an admission by the council that the college can only open and run smoothly with contributions from the students through the new fees, has been going on for months now.

The Polytechnic was initially scheduled to open on October 3, 2016.

Unima management says The Polytechnic needs about K2 billion from the new fees for it to run smoothly.

Mzuzu University is also yet to reopen after its indefinite closure due to industrial action by the academic and non-academic staff.

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