Students at the Malawi Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, have asked President Peter Mutharika to wake up from his slumber and intervene in the wrangle at the institution so that the college should be reopened.
Speaking to Malawi24, Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) president Frank Mchupuka Msiska said the president is a role model to them and he is a person who understands the importance of education.
“We need the president to come in and intervene in the reopening of the Polytechnic as the chancellor of universities in the country and an academician who understands the importance of education,” said Msiska.
He added that he believes the president will act accordingly as he is aware that everyone has the right to education.
Msiska also trashed claims that Polytechnic students like protesting over slightest provocation quoting John Kerry who said “in a dangerous world, war is an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.”
“Polytechnic has a new generation where war is not the first option, we believe that negotiation should be adopted whenever disputes arise,” he said.
Msiska also said that it is a constitutional right for every citizen to demonstrate and whenever they protest they have tangible reasons to do so.
He however said it is a waste of resources to keep students at home and as students, they are watching closely and if Mutharika as their chancellor is not willing to help them they will look at ways to safeguard their rights.
Msiska also complained that the University of Malawi council lied to them after they had a meeting as they said the date for opening the Polytechnic will be communicated but up until now nothing has been said.
The Polytechnic was set to open on 10th October, 2016 but the opening was deferred after the students obtained an injunction to stop the college from implementing a fees hike during the current academic year.
The Polytechnic administration claimed that PSU and the Unima Council needed to sort out the fees hike matter before the college could be opened.