You may have heard that a 25-year Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) student Dickson Lester committed suicide for allegedly being withdrawn from school for failing exams.
In case you missed this news item, Lester had gone missing before he was found near Dedza Mountain on the eve of Christmas. According to Dedza police deputy publicist Cassim Manda, Lester was found by some women who went to pick firewood around the area.
At that time, Lester was unconscious and was later confirmed dead at Dedza district hospital.
“Initial findings of an open postmortem examination found damaged hyper-pigmented organs secondary to poisoning. Samples were collected for further examination at the central laboratory in Lilongwe.
In their report dated 26th December 2022 signed by Manda, Police established that “Lester was stressed for failing four out of twelve modules which led to his withdrawal from the University.” The deceased hailed from Mandala Village, Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza in the district.
Now comes a piece of advice or lesson to parents whose wards are at university to pick from this ordeal; the University mentality has it that these wards of yours are adults yet they are not adults, to you they remain your children. Monitor their academic progress. Be the first one to know when exams are out and learn to check their grades. When they have done better, congratulate them. When they haven’t done better, encourage them. When they have been withdrawn on academic grounds, handle the situation together with them. Help them to cope and move forward. Be the pillar on which they can lean. Do not leave them alone because the next thing they do is think about suicide or they graduated and are not finding a job, they next think about just burning the degree paper. A fruitless and pointless exercise for a graduate.
We offer our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.