The planned nationwide demonstrations organised by Polytechnic and Mzuzu University students that are scheduled to take place on 30th November are motivated by students’ passion of attaining higher education with the aim of boosting the country’s development, the students say.
The protests have been organised to force authorities to reopen Mzuzu University and the Malawi Polytechnic.
Speaking during press briefing in Lilongwe, Mzuzu University Student Union Representatives (MUSREC) president Wazamazama Katatu said that the country is landlocked and it can only develop if people attain tertiary education.
“Current tertiary education blackout whereby two notable colleges are closed is visualizing a bad future of the country. No country in the world can develop with how tertiary education is in Malawi. This blackout is really paralyzing education and possibly it will hinder development in the country,” said Katatu in the statement.
He further asked the Chancellor of these two closed colleges who is President Peter Mutharika to engage in dialogue with the university authorities to end this issue so that students may start learning before the demonstrations date arrive.
In a statement jointly released by MUSREC, Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) and a non-governmental organisation called Youth and Society (YAS), the three bodies expressed concern with the current state of the academic stalemate and complete collapse of government leadership in governance of public institutions of higher learning under the current political administration.
“We have recognised the government’s failure to uphold its constitutional obligation of providing fundamental services to its citizens including education; and also ensuring that it actively promotes welfare and development of its people by progressively adopting and implementing among others policies and legislation that offer greater access to higher education learning and continuing education,” says the statement.
The demonstrations according to the statement will be held in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba where main aims will be asking for opening of Polytechnic and Mzuzu Universities or Mutharika’s resignation.
In Lilongwe, the demonstrations will be followed by a vigil at Parliament building while in Blantyre protesters will deliver a petition to the Chancellor of University of Malawi.
Meanwhile the students have urged fellow students, parents, civil society actors and all stakeholders to go and demonstrate against the tertiary education blackout in the country.