Monday, February 6, 2023
EducationFeature

University of Malawi bows to students’ demand; re-opens Monday

Unima Campus

The students staged powerful vigils aimed at forcing the management of the University of Malawi to accommodate two first-year cohorts in the second semester thereby averting a five months holiday and doing one semester in one academic of which the final implication was prolonging a four-year degree programme to seven years. The University management was adamant and ended up prematurely closing the university citing security concerns for the continued vigils the students were conducting.

Four weeks after the closure, the university management has announced that the university re-opens on Monday 5th December 2022.

“Management wishes to inform all students that the University of Malawi Council approved the Senate recommendation that the Second Semester of the 2022/2023 academic year should have a double cohort for first-year students,” reads the statement in part.

Further reads the statement:

“Council also approved that the model of teaching for all students will be a blended approach of face-to-face and online as requested by students.

“Consequently, the University will re-open on 4th December 2022 for the continuation of semester one of 2022/2023 academic year under the following conditions:

  • Each student shall pay K3,831.37 towards the damage caused during the vigils; and
  • Each student should commit that they are ready to learn using the blended approach with attendant double cohort environment optimised by the University.”

 Meanwhile, the Students Representative Council (SRC) has told all students to comply with the conditions and resume classes. In a statement signed by its President Humble Bondo and Vice Secretary General Promise Banda, the SRC argues that “The sum of money that management unilaterally and arbitrarily seeks from us “towards the damage costs sustained during the vigils” is contentious and open to judicial challenge.”

“The above notwithstanding, we have opted against going down that road and instead will employ the President’s insight, who demonstrated visionary leadership, looking at the bigger picture, withdrawing a court case, all done to give management no excuse but ample time to address our problems. The bigger picture in this context is for us to finish our studies without undue delay. SRC therefore believes that, despite our categorical objection to their first condition, it is in our best interest to comply with their demands and continue on our degree sojourn,” in part reads the statement.

 

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